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I went to an amazing lecture program at work today, it was a…

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delphica
I went to an amazing lecture program at work today, it was a multidisciplinary thing with two neural scientists and one classicist (whose specialty is Greek theater), and the general topic was perception and cognition. It's hard to summarize, but it was indeed one interesting fact after another. One tidbit I thought was especially neat was that apparently people are very good self-reporters of their own imaginations. As in, when people have their brains monitored for activity in perception areas (visual, aural, etc), people who claim to have very vivid imaginations sure enough show more action on the scans, and people who report average imaginations have average scans, and so on. Which is a nice take-away for me, because previously I had assumed people who talked about their vivid imaginations were only being insufferable; how could you know how what goes on in your head compares to anyone else's head? Well, it's probably still insufferable to talk about it a lot.

It was a little, hmm, bittersweet? for me to realize, while I was there and being really jazzed about the lecture, is that I so seldom go to this kind of university event these days, and I used to be at tons. And it's such a solid benefit to working at a college, to -- to be able to take advantage of these programs. One reason is purely logistical; so many are held in the evenings, and nowadays there is so much kid stuff to do in the evenings that I have to very carefully ration any work-related time after hours, and almost all of it gets used up with things that are actually my job. And the other part is related to my job -- I hadn't really focused on this too much, but as I've been here longer and have more dedicated things that I am ultimately responsible for, I'm less in the swim for other stuff that is going on around campus. It's even counterintuitive for me -- if you had asked me, I would have said that where I am now professionally involves more flexibility with my time so I could easily structure my day if I wanted to attend something, but in day to day stuff it works out more that I'm less involved with the events side of things.
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