Ramblings of a Randomly Random Nature

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

I can’t think of anything to say. For once in my life, I am speechless.

Okay, well that’s not really true. I say that all the time, especially on here, and then I end up talking about some random thing anyway. But maybe I should rephrase that: I can’t think of anything mildly important to say. So I suppose I’ll talk about something pathetically useless to anything in real life, and if you want to read it, read it. If you don’t, then don’t. I’m not forcing you to read it. Then again, if you came here, it’d be pretty stupid to not read what I write. So read. Now.

Today the same thing happened as last week. My first bus driver was really slow, and the driver of the bus that I transfer onto at the mall drove really fast. Just as my bus was pulling into the mall bus stop, the next one pulled out. I didn’t make a fuss. I’m not quite sure why. I could even have calmly asked the bus driver to radio ahead to the other bus and tell them to wait for two seconds until I got on. But I didn’t. I was either too lazy to walk to the front of the bus to talk to the driver, or I subconsciously wanted to walk home today. And I can tell you right now, it was the latter.

The last time I missed my bus, I was mad. Mostly this was due to the fact that I had to work that night and so I needed to get home to get ready. But I don’t have to work tonight, so I really didn’t care. I actually like walking; it gives me a chance to think and contemplate to myself, something which I need to do every once in a while. I find that if I don’t do that, it starts to build up on me and I get frustrated. My blog here helps; I mean, no one really reads it, but I need to have it anyways just for my sake if nothing else. I need to write and I need to think, and I need to think as I write, or else I get terribly grumpy when there’s no apparent reason. Music also helps accomplish this. I always write my blogs with music playing.

Music helps me think. I read a handout on effective study methods once in Grade 7 or 8 – somewhere around there anyway. It said to put quiet classical music on in the background as you study. I think I threw it away from that point on, because anyone who thinks that teenagers these days listen to classical music and will actually regard them as a viable authority on this subject of studying needs some mental help. Whoever wrote the article needs therapy if they think they can get teenagers to listen to classical music while studying, both of which are pretty much outdated these days.

I listen to punk music and anything heavier than that. Emo is as quiet as I go; it’s usually softer and less dramatic. But mostly I listen to heavy punk all the way up to heavy metal, which is just about crazy as you can get. And when studying, I don’t put it in the background, I put it in the foreground. Contrary to what those “studying experts” may think, however, it helps me study better.

Here’s my theory on the subject. Today’s culture is all about keeping your attention. Television shows flashy, quick-moving pictures to keep the viewer’s attention on it. Even news programs switch camera angles every few seconds, or else people get bored. I remember my mom used to always watch 100 Huntley Street on television. It was the most boring show in the world, not because the content wasn’t interesting, but because they would take a camera angle and keep it there for a full minute or two before switching – an eternity in television time.

Teenagers today have grown up immersed in this culture of anti-boredom. We, for the most part, get bored easily, even if something is interesting. If the presentation of the content isn’t interesting, we turn our minds off, even if the content itself is intriguing. So what does this have to do with music while studying?

My theory is that my mind needs to be occupied on all levels in order to function properly. There’s the active centre of the brain which, when studying, is trying to focus on studying. However, that leaves the passive centres of the brain inactive. Because they aren’t occupied, they start to wander. That’s about the time when the thought flashes through your mind, “This is so boring!” Your mind starts to turn off and it become impossible for the active centre to focus on studying. I believe that my music helps occupy the passive centres so my active centre can concentrate on studying.

It sounds strange, I know. But let me try and explain something else. Have you ever heard someone but not been listening to them? Someone’s talking to you, and suddenly you have another thought, and you go to explore that thought, even while trying to listen to the person. Perhaps females are better at males than this since it involves multi-tasking, but I have no clue about that. Anyways, your ears are still picking up their voice, and your brain is still interpreting it, but then it sort of sets it down and doesn’t actively analyze what they said. I find this with myself a lot. Someone’s talking to me, I’m trying to remember what they said, I say, “Okay, I’ve got it,” and then as soon as they leave I realize I have no clue what they just said.

It’s like that with music, at least for me. I write in my blog or I study, and my music is playing. But I’m not actually listening to it. I hear the music, but it doesn’t sink in or affect me in any way. It doesn’t affect how well I study, except for occupying the rest of my brain so it doesn’t wander. I’ve even found myself singing to my music and not even realizing it; part of that is due to the fact that I know the song, but it’s strange because I don’t even consciously know what song it is, and yet I’m singing it.

The mind is definitely a strange thing. In English class today we were talking about Twelfth Night, definitely one of Shakespeare’s more stupid plays, even though they’re all pretty pathetic. But that’s not the point. We were talking about how some of the characters were self-deluded. I got to thinking (my mind wandered again) about how someone goes about doing that. How do you trick your mind into thinking something else, when it’s your mind that’s doing the tricking? It’s like trying to tickle yourself, or trying to scare yourself. It just doesn’t work. And yet it is entirely possible to delude yourself into thinking something completely opposite of the truth, even though you are fully aware of the truth.

It’s definitely one of the greater mysteries of the universe, dealing with suppressed thoughts and emotions. That’s one of the roles of a psychologist – to unlock suppressed thoughts within a person and reveal the cause of whatever problem they’re having. It’s one of the coolest reasons why I want to be a psychologist; not only does it deal with helping others, but it also deals with discovering mysteries and charting uncharted territories. The world’s been discovered already, but there are other areas yet to be explored in the deep recesses of the mind. It’s one of the things that fascinates me.

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