Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spontaneous Memories

Have you ever had an old memory suddenly pop up? Usually the thought is triggered by an activity or circumstance, and I had one such incident tonight.

I walk back and forth primarily between three buildings for classes: the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Department of Engineering, and the Judge Business School. From my house, it takes me about 15 minutes to walk to engineering, 12 to walk to the JBS, and about 8  to get to chemical engineering. Normally the walks are decently enjoyable (have iPod, will travel), but occasionally they become tiresome (particularly in cold weather). On the way home tonight, I mindlessly began counting my footsteps.

**Memory strikes!!!**

Many years ago, my sister and I came up with a pattern for counting while walking. Actually, I believe we were running at the time, but that's beside the point. As I recall, the counting rhythm went like this:

(Begin on the left foot, step once for every number)

(then, add a quick "and" between "seven" and "eight," stepping on both the "and" and "eight")

(You should now be ready to step with your right foot)

(Now, you should theoretically step with your left foot on "eight," but the whole pattern starts on the left foot, so you have to correct for this imbalance. Thus, you step left and HOP...)
...aaaannndddd!!!! (whilst flying through the air if you are running at high speeds)

(Land on left foot and repeat the pattern)
ONE!!-two-three-four-five-six-seven...etc etc etc

The main parameter that determines your enjoyment of the pattern is your traveling speed. If you are walking, you cannot hop high enough to stay within the natural rhythm of your walking speed - you will end up landing early and then the tempo disruption is simply annoying. If, however, you are running pell-mell down a park green, your momentum will cause your hop to be rather uncontrolled and you run the risk of an unstable landing. Therefore, a casual jog would probably suffice as a good speed. Although, I do seem to recall that my sister and I tended to run faster rather than slower...

Our "ingenious pattern" (or so we thought at the time) seems incredibly simple now. In fact, I almost hesitated to post this because it is just an example of the sort of nonsensical games that children often come up with. However, I had to chuckle at our attempt at creativity, and the spontaneous reminder of my childhood days made me smile.

What about you, internet? Have you ever had a memory come flying to the forefront of your mind out of nowhere?

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