Tuesday, February 9, 2010

It's Raining on My Parade

Showers are in today's forecast, with thunderstorms possible. It's a fine day for sitting in my sunroom office, surrounded by wet, yet snug and dry, working on a story assignment about, of all things, rain.

I have beside me on my desk a compilation of numbers, 350 sets of numbers to a page, representing the past seven decades of rainfall in my hometown. It's my job today to pore over these figures (hm) and analyze trends, then write an entertaining magazine article about them.

Ha! Sometimes I laugh at the work I am paid to do. What I know about rain you could put in a teaspoon. Let's see: The water cycle is this, evaporation from ocean surfaces, water vapor in the air, condensation, formation of clouds, collision of warm air and cold air, the jet stream, and voila ~~~ snow in Virginia, rain in California.

The only difference between me and the next nincompoop is that I'm motivated to go find out about rain, whereas the next nice nincompoop actually has real work to do.

(Silence for all of five minutes, while subject refers to the magic of Google, unearths the USGS water cycle diagram, and says, Aha!)

Now well-schooled in the water cycle, I turn my attention to an unrelated question: Is writing a left-brain or right-brain activity?

That question comes up while I pour myself another cup of French roast coffee. If I were in the same zip code as my friend and neuroscientist Mariana, I would call her up and ask. But I can hear her answer: Depends on the type of writing.

Nothing is simple. Nothing is ... Wait. Creativity is a right-brain activity. Why don't I go write a poem about rain, and put all the rest of it on the back burner for a while?

You see how my mind works. That's why I'm blogging rather than working. Being in my head at the moment is like riding a bucking bronco. There's no steering this beast.

So here's a list I found of the primary actions of the two brain hemispheres. Just a quick look-see tells me which side dominates in me right now. What about you? Which side is in charge?


uses logic
detail oriented
facts rule
words and language
present and past
math and science
can comprehend
order/pattern perception
knows object name
reality based
forms strategies

uses feeling
"big picture" oriented
imagination rules
symbols and images
present and future
philosophy & religion
can "get it" (i.e. meaning)
spatial perception
knows object function
fantasy based
presents possibilities
risk taking



RNSANE said...

How about no brain functioning - like me, right now - I have been at this computer since 9AM with only about two hours total time up doing other things ( it is now 2AM ). I am off to try to sleep. Don't know if it's raining or not as I haven't even looked outside. I am starving, though, so I need a snack...mmmm, peanut butter and honey, maybe...night,night.

Coastcard said...

Right now (and feeling envious of your cups of coffee!), I find I ticked 11 out of the 13 left brain functions and 15 out of the 15 right brain ones. I wonder what this shows... oh, and BTW, I am left handed, which I feel makes a difference to my perception, too.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know my brain could do all those things. let me "think" about that for a few minutes.
Now which side of my brain should I be using?
Thanks, Secretia

Madison said...

In the photo in the prior post, everyone looks so tired. Dr. Jen looks like a woman who needs support. I think she's using her left brain, motivated by her right brain. Lots of amazing changes take place when there's a nice combo of left/right working together. A poem. A story assignment. A blog about simple things. Then, getting back to work. It sounds like you're going to have an interesting day.

the walking man said...

Now you got me curious because I write form a single brain not a lobe. Geeze no wonder I live in the state of confusion.

Karen said...

I think writers are right brained spirits living in a left-brained world. I think it's "presents possibilities" that's the key to being a writer. By the way, that you're drinking your coffee and musing on this rather than pouring over those figures is evidence of your right brains dominating!

Alan Burnett said...

Fascinating but rather frightening. Based on the two lists I have an awful feeling that my right cranial hemisphere was excised shortly after birth. But I know what you mean about writing and having to research the most obtuse areas of knowledge. Currently I am searching for a deck plan of the 1930s liner SS Europa!

Kim A. said...

Right. Definately Right. ::sigh::

I hope your find your muse and the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plains. (see...right)

namaste :-D

ShAKirA CHOONG said...

You make me smile.
I think I am pretty well balanced,
where my brain is concerned.
You have a good day now.

Berowne said...

I'm a right-brainer.

(Better than a no-brainer.)

Which means I can do a fairly difficult crossword puzzle, but fail miserably at sudoko.

Brian Miller said...

more snow here...so i may be in hibernation for a few days...which will give me plenty of time to ponder the brain or my lack there of...smiles.

Magpie said...

Your mind works just like mine and the rain - intermittently. :)

Used to be very left brain, but now I'm leaning more to right brain. I've always been very much a Gemini. My dad always said if I woke up laughing I'd go to bed crying.

Katharine said...

Wouldn't you love to take some of each side, and put them together in a perfectly balanced brain... I'm more right brain ☺

Dianne said...

Ah and what WM doesn't know is your brain and mine are like riding bucking broncos, we use several parts of the female brain to do one task.. Males use one part at a time with focused attention. Thus, moms can multitask in a skatter brain world, men can block it out with selective hearing..... Ha! Truly.

I don't know where my brain goes when I write poetry, but somewhere I find myself later sitting in a corner, unaware of where I've been for the past hour......
Dear One,

Lou said...

I once had an astrologer tell me I could "read the mood of a room with one glance". I think that makes me right brained!

I have a question: do you think we
instinctively pick a mate that is opposite brained?

Anonymous said...

its the same reason why we are all blogging... because our right brain is a bit more functional than the left one... but thanks for the information...

Tall Kay said...

I've been told I have a "right-brain" in there somewhere...it just needs more exercise! Like the gym...I'll start tomorrow :o)

TechnoBabe said...

I could have the left side of my brain removed and I would still be the same as I am now, because I only use the right side!!

Syd said...

I have integration of some aspects of both but I know that my left brain dominates.

Your writing on rain fall will be interesting. Check out the ENSO information and the El Nino cycles. I love science and that you write about it from time to time is a good thing.

Matty said...

HA! I knew it!! I'm on the "right" side of things.

Having majored in Geography/Geology in college, and taken courses in meteorology and climatology, I can so relate to what you are talking about (even though I never once used this stuff after I got out of college). But that's another story.

Anyway, being very new to your blog, what is it that you do for work, that you write about rain?

Nessa said...

I think I have water on the brain.


Maha said...

You have a really beautiful blog that reflects the beauty of your heart.

Poetikat said...

I'm strictly left (of center) most days.

Kate said...

Oh what a great post. I am definitely a right person.

Kate xx

Susan said...

I am so right brained and loving it! BTW..It's about to snow on my parade, again! I wish we had rain instead. I love the rain. It must speak to my Irish soul. :)

VICKI IN AZ said...

So fun. I am still stuck on how much I love rain! I think I am a right brainer and taht is why I get dicombobulated so easily because so much of my life requires using the good ol' left brain. ;)

lakeviewer said...

Uh? Left brain question here. Good. Let me count the ways. No. I'll wait till I feel inspired.

Anonymous said...

You had me at French roast....

Just Be Real said...

Interesting. I can go both way. Blessings....

peglud said...

I'm definitely left-brained - a trained scientist. But in the last 10 - 20 years, I've recognized and acknowledged my artistic/creative proclivity and am now trying to develop and nurture the right side of my brain.
I've also realized that I do seem to like to write - - - and have found my blog to be a huge outlet and stimulating arena.
I've enjoyed your writing and photos. You are amazingly prolific and productive - don't know how you do it.
It's late and my eyes are tired. I'd love to read more of your posts, but need to get to bed, where I'll toss and turn for most of the night. There is no rest, really.