What else caught my eye this month?
Growing up, September was always a time of anticipation. After having devoured all eight books that I had borrowed from the school library (that was the maximum allowed over the summer holidays and I was meant to ration them) within the first week, it wouldn’t be long before I yearned to be back in school.
I was a model student and I relished learning. Aside from PE and French III, there was probably not a single subject I didn’t enjoy, and I never encountered the stereotypical attitude of humanities versus science. The rarity of having not just one but quite a few great teachers probably had something to do with my love of books and knowledge.
I also spent my entire education from grades 1 – 12 walking through the same corridors and eating from the same canteen; and if that wasn’t enough, it was a small school with the entire student population in my final year never topping 130. I don’t think I fully appreciated the nurturing atmosphere of such a small-knit community (after all my first grade teacher was still there when I graduated high school) but I am certain that experience has played a large part in shaping the person that I am today.
I can clearly remember the time we painted Mr Men characters onto panes of glass in the windows of our classroom and also five years later when Mike and I accidentally broke the window of another classroom with a misjudged catch of the volleyball. I remember my father teaching me the multiplication table when we waited at the airport during a particularly heavy snowfall and then reciting them to an amazed Mrs Kalamboukas a year later.
I remember first learning about recessive and dominant genes of hamsters in the sixth grade and then rediscovering them (and fruitflies) in more detail in the eighth grade and again in the tenth grade. I remember how we never managed to squeeze much World History into one academic year but 250 years of American History seemed to drag on and on. I remember jamming my finger during volleyball practice and having the most peculiar handwriting for an entire month. I remember loving the language of algebra and trigonometry and then the dismay at the gibberish (to me) of pre-calculus. I remember giving the speech as valedictorian of my graduating class and the sense of excitement at a decidedly close of one chapter and the beginning of another narrative.
1. Imagine then if I forgot everything. Not just the memories and smells and laughter, but all the knowledge. Imagine not remembering how to tie your shoelaces or tell time, not being able to use a protractor or use a computer. Su Meck, now an undergraduate at Smith College in Massachusetts USA, recounts in this New York Times artilce how a freak accident wiped away her entire memory of the past 23 years of her life.
2. Those of you who know me would know I am not entirely pleased with the overuse of antibiotics and the growing resistance of superbugs to antibiotics is a very true and alarming fact. Now research is also showing that antibiotics is permanently altering the state of our gut, which in turn may lead to an increase in allergies, asthma and weight gain.
3. I came across this really well explained exercise that can help if you experience back pain. It’s also a good reminder that staying active and moving is never a bad thing for your body.
4. We are often told that beauty is skin deep and is only in the eye of the beholder, but research is showing that the beauty routines (whether it’s a lovely eye cream or having a facial acupuncture treatment) are an important part of our daily “self-care”. Self-care, as defined by Michelle Segar PhD, a behavioural psychologist at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender, is “any activity that nurtures, restores and truly feeds the self.” This is why something as simple as a pedicure or a new shade of lipstick can make you feel good. She argues that taking care of yourself (whether through facial treatments or exercise) will make you look better and therefore make you feel better.
5. Sara Calabro is an acupuncturist based in Oregon, USA. Here she writes a lovely article describing the importance and effects of autumn on our bodies from Chinese medicine’s point of view.
6. In our busy lives trying to fit in work, family, friends it is so easy to forget to stop and enjoy the simple things. I discovered this short video, Industrial Revolutions, showcasing Danny MacAskill’s amazing talents and it is an absolute delight. Watch it, let your eyes soak in the colours and tap your foot to the music, you can’t not feel better afterwards.
Photo credit: Nana B Agyei via flickr
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