Exhaustion explained. Also snackiness.

“Although the brain represents only 2% of the body weight, it receives 15% of the cardiac output, 20% of total body oxygen consumption, and 25% of total body glucose utilization. The energy consumption for the brain to simply survive is 0.1 Calories per minute, while this value can be as high as 1.5 Calories per minute (100W) during crossword puzzle-solving”

(found in comment at: Academic Productivity)

Intuition strikes again…

Another bit from Academic Productivity:

Studies of the spacing effect have shown that when you space learning over separate learning intervals, long term retention is normally much higher compared with the equivalent amount of training from a single or “massed” session. This effect is robust across different time scales, different kinds of learning, and is even true across different species.

Without ever reading about the spacing effect, I changed my cataloging course design this semester to take advantage of it. Call it intuition or common sense… but it is always nice to have your practice supported by Science. More on spaced learning and cognitive psychology relevant to pedagogy here.

In defense of hermiting

Choose your own place for concentration, but remember that solitude has always been, in all the history of mental achievement, a requisite for great work.

Solitude calls forth the mood of receptivity. Only then do we get the best. Great things are worked out in silence. Then come the flashes of inspiration—the new visions. Emerson tells us that ” Solitude is to genius the stern friend—the cold, obscure shelter, where mould the wings which will bear it farther than suns or stars,” and we have this thought from Carlyle: ” Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together—that at length they may emerge full-formed and mamestic into the delight of life—which they are henceforth to rule.”

From: How To Concentrate (Originally Published 1930) Author… unknown? Definitely uncited.

Solitude is part of the Proper Environment. Apparently you also need Periodical Relaxation, Mental Freedom, and A Definite Schedule.

Lack of the latter is really, really bugging me since classes have started. Having those two days a week that have a completely different rhythm throws me off. I haven’t exercised in over a week and I’m starting to feel cruddy for lack of it. And my wrists are starting to hurt again. Apparently exercise keeps that at bay. Who knew!?

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