2016 Review: Netherlands

After 3 years of bird representation followed by a year of no bird representation (and a possible member of avian OGAE attacking me), the Netherlands has decided: No birds this year, unless there’s some kind of poultry product served at the café in the music video. In that case, the avian OGAE will have to settle with some random person in the back of the café eating chicken nuggets. And to be honest, mystery meat chicken nuggets are as close to actual chicken as Russia is from Sarah Palin’s house. They’re not even that good. To get back on topic, Douwe (not duvet) Bob is representing the Netherlands with “Slow Down.”

I really like the song, and by coincidence it really fits in with my neuroanat class right now: on the first day of class, the first thing the professor Dr. K mentioned was that the brain is inhibitory for a lot of actions. We previously learned that a motor signal via the lateral corticospinal tract starts from the motor cortex, going through the midbrain and pons (“let’s build a bridge”) and crossing over to the contralateral side with a pyramidal decussation at the medullary pyramids before going down to the spinal tract to move an arm or leg. However, Dr. K hadn’t mentioned at the time that this pathway involved another step through the cerebellum. Without the cerebellum’s inhibitory Purkinje cells (turned on= will inhibit, not turned on= will not inhibit) slowing down signals from climbing/mossy fibers, the signal to slowly reach your hand out to shake hello would turn into an impulsive punch.

Stuff for class (yes, Dr. K, I’m studying right now…)

**For anyone looking for a TL; DR on the former paragraph, there’s a part of the brain that slows down actions so they’re not jerky/spastic/impulsive.

At the lyrical level, Douwe Bob’s protesting against everyone who keeps saying that “life is a race; if you don’t run fast enough, you’ll be trampled.” Instead of kids enjoying their childhood, parents put them into cram schools and tutoring to fight for an Ivy League spot. And then at uni it’s work, study, barely any sleep, repeat (hopefully) 4 years (for who knows what shame you get for going over), and then get out with a plum job to earn a good paycheck (and all you’ll get is shame if you have to keep working in the bakery). And instead of taking an hour’s lunch break to eat a bowl of chicken stew and maybe put in a power nap, the manager/boss expects a 15 minute break for you to shove 10 chicken two-legged-walking-protein nuggets down your throat because food breaks waste time and productivity. Of course, it already doesn’t help that the blood supply to brain is at a really high pressure. At a more personal level, it’s a little signal to stop panicking, to take in deeper breaths, drink a mug of tea, take a short break, go for a walk, anything to get my symps to stop firing as much (or at least inappropriately) and turn into the worrying kind. And there might be people around saying that it’s a bad idea, but nowhere in the song does it say to stop. It’s just that sometimes we have to walk instead of run.

So don’t forget, taking short breaks increases productivity and hopefully motivation too.



One comment on “2016 Review: Netherlands

  1. […] are sending entries about rushing too quickly in life and needing to slow down.  However, while Douwe Bob simply says to slow down and re-stabilize, Agnete promises that you won’t have to re-stabilize […]

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