Monday, February 16, 2009

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

I am a kinesthetic learner. I don't remember much of what I read on a first time through. I remember very little of the words I hear, no matter how often they are repeated. In order for me to really learn I have to interact somehow with the materials. It's part of the reason I am good with outlines. I used to take notes in my college classes and then rush home to outline those notes, color coding them for quick identification. That process was necessary for me to internalize the lecture. It's also the reason I preferred to write short essays for tests and skip the multiple choice altogether. By writing out my answer, I could synthesize why my answer was correct. It's just the weird way my brain works.

It makes sense, then, that just reading the study materials on exercise science that I'm working through wasn't enough. I highlighted, but that didn't really help. I started some flashcards, and that did permit soome of the information to stay in my head. But two-dimensional drawings in a book really didn't show me how muscles work and how the bones fit together to create four types of joint.

This morning I took myself to The Bodies, an exhibit of cadavers preserved in such a way that visitors can see up close and in context all the major functions of the body. It begins with skeletons and moves into muscles, cartilate, and ligaments. I spent much of my time in those halls, walking around each body identifying different muscles and how they attach to bone and how they work together to allow movement. This exhibit is unique because the bodies are posed in real life situations: hitch-hiking, playing ball, drawing, and a host of other things. It was fascinating to say the least.

Now I can picture how the muscles work and I can better remember the names of various muscles and bones. Just walking through the hall from bones and muscle, through digestion, respiration, and reproduction, to circulation made me recall the verse that tells how I was knit together in my mother's womb; fearfully and wonderfully made.

Psalm 139:13-16
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

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