Thursday, December 16, 2010

At the end of a long week

I've started and stopped a lot of blogs in the past few days. Life has been pretty scattered this week due to finals, lack of sleep, and a crazy work schedule but I've finally made it to the end. Finals are finished and I can feel the weight of school lifting from my shoulders. My boarding pass is printed and I'll be on a flight home tomorrow morning. At the end of a week like this I think I'm mostly grateful to learn that I can do the things that seem impossible. I'm so thankful for the heavenly help I've had this week.

Friday, December 10, 2010


My seventh grade Core teacher Mrs. Busch (the one that frequently rubbed off her penciled on eyebrows in frustration) told us that certain scents bring up different memories. She proceeded to pour a bag of recently fallen fall leaves on the table and has us smell them and see what memories we remembered. I remember having this instant flashback to Boston in the Fall. I think it had been about two years since Dad, Mom, Kendall, and I had traveled to B-town and walking around in the leaves wasn't a memory that I ever consciously remembered storing. It was a very weird experience.

So here I am, almost eight years later, still fascinated with the idea that my brain can store memories without any conscious effort on my part. Since I'm now one of those weird kids that is obsessed with the human body, I decided to look up the science between memory and scent. This is what Discover Health taught me...

"A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people's moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it's sometimes called the "emotional brain," smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously.
The olfactory bulb has intimate access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning. Despite the tight wiring, however, smells would not trigger memories if it weren't for conditioned responses. When you first smell a new scent, you link it to an event, a person, a thing or even a moment."

So I've been thinking about this for a while and started compiling a list of the scents I associate with certain memories or people.

Hot Tamales or Cinnamon Bears (really any cinnamon candy) - Natalie
Fresh wall paint- Mom and Dad
Recently cut grass- Dad
Lavender- Mom
Any indoor pool- G+G's Salt Lake pool
Coconut Lime Verbena Lotion- Kendall
Pink Lemonade- Joshua
Gasoline- Mexico (this one always makes me laugh)
The smell of any doctors office- The West Linn Women's Clinic
School smell- Aunt Cheri and when Kendall, Rachel, and I would "help" her set up the classroom for the Fall.
Wet/muddy shoes- Rugby

And of course there are the harder ones that you don't really know how to define the scent. Like Alaina's house. I can definitely tell when something comes from Alaina's. I almost certain that if someone gave me something from the Backus home I could tell. I haven't been there in more than four years, but even now I'm positive I could recognize it. Also, the smell of G+G's Salt Lake apartment always gives me strong flashbacks to coming there as a child.

Are there any scents that you associate with certain memories/people?

Monday, December 06, 2010

Two things...maybe three

Tonight in FHE we finger painted a mural. The theme was Christmas in Space. Our end had way more pizazz than the other end. I think my fingers may be permanently stained with tempera paint, which doesn't totally make sense because tempera paint is suppose to be washable.
I went to the temple lights with some of my girl friends this weekend and really enjoyed it a lot. I took in the rain and cold and just told myself it was part of the Christmas experience. I do so love to see the temple.
Three days of school left and then finals! I'm getting so excited for Christmas in the Northwest.

Friday, December 03, 2010

Anatomy and some other things

Anatomy has been one of the most intense classes I've taken at BYU but it also seems to be the class most relevant to my life. It's not just because I start the nursing program next semester but because the more I learn about the body the more I realize what a gift it is. In the past semester I've spent two hours a week in lecture, two hours a week in lab, and at least two more hours in open lab studying off the cadavers not to mention the time I spent studying off the computer program at home. The more time I spent learning and memorizing bones, muscles, structures, and organs, the more I was in awe of all the intricate details that make up our bodies. I don't know how anyone could look at the body and not think a divine creator had some part in it.

The heart is my favorite organ. I get goosebumps when I think about how blood pumps through atria, valves, and ventricles then out though arteries to the body and then back through the veins to the heart. I love that it sounds like a simple process but how there are really so many other small pieces that contribute to it. I love that I can feel my own heart beating and know that by body is doing its job. I love that one muscle can keep us alive simply by pumping. It's also pretty cool to hold a human heart in your hand. Just saying.

I'm continually fascinated by the leg muscles. If you could look at the dissected quad and hamstring muscles of a cadaver I think you'd understand. The adductor magnus is my favorite one because it's this huge meaty piece of muscle on the medial side of the leg and it's there just so you can move your leg.

Galea aponeurotica is my favorite anatomical term to say. It's just the fibrious tissue that covers the top of your head but I can never say it enough. GALEA APONEUROTICA!

After I study for a long time I fall asleep naming anatomy terms. It's sort of a bad habit because it usually keeps me up longer than if I just laid there. The terms are constantly running through my mind.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that our bodies are awesome. Next time you climb a flight of stairs, eat a delicious meal, or lay down at night to sleep take a minute to stop and think about what an amazing gift it is to have your body. The last semester has been a real testimony strengthener for me as I've seen how great our bodies actually are. If I were Satan, I'd feel pretty foolish for giving up the opportunity to have a body. Be grateful for what you have and take care of your bodies because they are truly the greatest gift.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It all makes sense now

Various precipitating factors may cause tension type headaches in susceptible individuals:
* Stress: usually occurs in the afternoon after long stressful work hours or after an exam
* Sleep deprivation
* Uncomfortable stressful position and/or bad posture
* Irregular meal time (hunger)
* Eyestrain
* Caffeine withdrawal
* Dehydration

Guess which one is not part of my life?

T minus 2 days until anatomy lab final
T minus 12 days until finals week

I am super excited for Christmas break.