After working approximately 16-18 hours on a 3-dimensional brain model for my psych class only to be told by my group, “We don’t like it,” I really wanted to scream. My hands had become callused from working the wire, shaping the different lobes of the brain. I twisted and pried and made it look as much like a brain as I knew how using wire and only that. For the most part, it did–it looked like a brain. And after so many hours creating it, I was fairly proud of myself for trying so hard.
I came to class with it on Monday, prepared to give our presentation on Parkinson’s disease and it’s relation to the human brain. One of the girls in my group saw the wire and cocked her head.
“Is that our brain?”
I held it up. “Yeah! What do you think?”
“Um… Well… Hmm… Maybe we can go on Wednesday…”
It was obvious. She didn’t approve. And I knew then that we had to avoid presenting that day so I could have the opportunity to make another one. Something better and something more audience friendly.
We were lucky enough to have a PowerPoint presentation that wouldn’t work and therefore had the chance to move our presenting day to Wednesday. Today. And yes, granting me the privilege of making another brain model.
This time, I decided not to try so hard to be creative and original. The other groups had made posters. That was acceptable. Therefore, I would do the same. However, I gave it a certain flavor I didn’t think anyone would expect.
Two large white posterboards, one on top of the other. The first one was a design of the outer-brain, colored so to clearly see the seperate lobes and cortexes. Then, I cut around the edges of the brain, but not entirely because I didn’t want it to be competely seperated from the rest of the board. So, when I peeled back the cut-out brain piece, it revealed the second poster board underneath. Underneath, one could clearly observe the interior design of the brain. Including such aspects as the medulla oblangata and the varying nerve endings dispersed throughout. However, I wanted to be able to replace the cut out piece easily without having to hold it up with my hands. So, the solution? It was simple, really. The answer was this: Velcro. I used velcro! And it couldn’t have worked better!
I just finished giving my presentation. There, on the class isle, sat my brain poster. Appearing rather colorful and somewhat cartoonish, but by the audience’s standards, regular as any other brain poster. It was my responsibility to discuss the brain anatomy (due to how I’d actually designed the model) and I referred to my poster as I went along. After a brief moment of breaking down what the outer-parts are all about, I daringly pulled back the first poster layer. And what did I hear? The most satisfying, confidence-boosting, ego-fueling sounds of “Whoa…” and “Wow…” and “That is so cool…” and the laughter of admiring people who couldn’t think of anything to say. That’s correct. I had made the “coolest” poster of the class. And I knew it.
What seemed to be a moment that couldn’t have possibly improved itself, a surprising bowl full of cherries was added to my cake. Upon returning to my seat, I saw a small stack of papers. It was my corrected and graded take-home exam from two weeks prior. It was hard and it had very difficult questions and I was nervous to suddenly read how I had scored. Unfortunately, I knew it would already be one grade lower than the grade it deserved because having missed the day it was assigned, I had to turn it in one day late. So, if I had scored a “B” she would give me “C” and so forth. I flipped throught he pages, noted her suggestions and comments. Turning to the last page, my eyes scrolled down… What was it? A hefty 83% was scribbled in the bottom-left corner. Had I turned it in on it’s due date, I would have received a 93%.
“Frickin A, dude. Frickin A!” – Jon Johnson, the guy who licked my eyeball