Saturday, December 6, 2008

I thought this was funny:

Genuine learning occurs as we stimulate new dendrite growth in the brain. (Dendrites connect neurons for continued, effective thinking.) The three emotional states that interfere with optimal dendrite growth are 1) fatigue, 2) stress, and 3) fear. Most students attending college battle against one or more of these factors most of the time.
(Harvard Brain Research Conference, 1998)

I thought this was perfect:

Stanza 5

So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years—

Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres [between “the two” world wars]
Trying to use words, and every attempt
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate
With shabby equipment always deteriorating
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling,
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer
By strength and submission, has already been discovered
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope
To emulate—but there is no competition—
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss.
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.
“East Coker,” from The Four Quartets
T. S. Elliot

I think this is what the would needs to hear:

. . . I would go back to a home that has a mother there . . . . I ask you . . . what good is a big picture window and the lavish appointments and the priceless décor in a home if there is no mother there? The mother as a mother, not as a breadwinner, is an essential figure in the battle against immorality and wickedness. I would also go back to the family where children were accountable and where father was the head of the family.

Would you think me naïve if I were to propose that this battle ultimately will be won on such simple grounds as the children coming in after school to homemade bread and jam and Mama there? Or on such grounds as Daddy and Mama taking their youngsters to Sacrament meeting? Or that tender hug as they are put to bed and Daddy and Mama are saying, “We need you in this family. You are part of us, no matter what your troubles are, you can come home. (Boyd K. Packer, quoted; The Miracle of Forgiveness, 69.)

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