Friday, December 4, 2009

Ze Brain! Ze Brain!

brain Whenever the party conversation turns to discussing the merits of being right-brained vs. being left-brained, I become confused (maybe I'm "no-brained"). I can never remember which side is the creative side, and which side is the logical side.

[Pausing to conduct a little Google research. Please, talk amongst yourselves.]

Okay, the left side is logical (easy to remember, both start with "L"), and the right side is creative. So which team do I play for?

When I was a lad, I excelled in math (My nickname in 5th grade was "The Computer" because I could add and subtract columns of numbers so quickly. Unfortunately, I soon found out that wasn't a very marketable skill. Damn those calculators!). All through grade school, and all through college and grad school, I took as many technical classes as I could, shying away from anything remotely creative (English class? What's that? Give me fluid dynamics or give me death!).

My jobs were in engineering and business, where the most creative things I did were sales and marketing projections.

Now, it seems, my right side has awakened. I spend a lot of time making stuff up and writing what I hope are creative stories (and blogs and Facebook updates and Tweets and IRS tax returns).

This brings up a slew of questions: Has my brain changed? Has my right side staged a successful coup? Am I "whole-brained"? Dual-brained? Bird-brained?

What gives?

What about you? Right-brain or left-brain? Or some brain in between?

Image courtesy of Wikipedia



Anonymous said...

Alan - It's funny you would mention logic and creativity. Howard Gardner has hypothesized that we all have all kinds of intelligence, both logical and visual/artistic (among many others). So I'm not surprised that you're discovering your creative side. It makes a lot of sense given the research. As for me (since you asked), I'm a more creative person, except, oddly enough, I've not much of what people call artistic talent. My creativity is with words. I've had to learn to discipline it with logic and order, and I've always admired folks like you who naturally have a sense of numbers and order.

Elspeth Futcher said...

Is it possible to be both? I've acted and directed for years, and people didn't run screaming from the horror. (that I know about). That would say creative.

On the other hand, or other brain, I can write business plans and analyze legal contracts quite well. Numbers...not so much. I'm fine with simple calculations but once those letters get into it I'm lost.

Now I write, but I try to impose as much logic as possible on the process. Oh, I don't know. Maybe my brain is just confused and needs some time on a beach.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I think you're....lucky! I'd love to have the left part of my brain actually function. My family and I joked for years that it must be a crippled, dessicated raisin and my right side is this muscular bully beating up on the left...

Mystery Writing is Murder

Alan Orloff said...

Margot - I've read your blog and you can't fool me. You're analyses are so logical and well-ordered that I'm surprised you don't consider yourself to be left-brained.

Elspeth - Both-brained. You theater folk! (I can say that, because my youngest is a budding thespian.)

Elizabeth - Another one I don't believe. You HAVE to be logical and organized--you get so much done!

Anonymous said...

Alan - Thanks : ). That's what comes from going to graduate school. You learn to be ordered and logical whether you want to or have to be dragged there kicking and screaming. ; )

Patricia Stoltey said...

I think we all have it all...we just don't know it.

Lorel Clayton said...

I'm a fairly left brained biologist, but I notice my right brain waking up whenever I write or paint (painting is especially creepy because my internal monologue disappears). Speech, however, is associated with the right brain. So, too long spent coming up with stories and meeting my word count goals leaves me a blithering moron in conversational circles.
My husband, in contrast, is dyslexic and entirely right brained. He thinks those of us with internal monologues and visions of words dancing like sugar plums in our heads are completely bonkers.

Alan Orloff said...

Patricia - If you're right (and it's nice to think that), you would need the biggest backhoe in the world to unearth any artistic talent in my brain.

Lorel - I'm usually a blithering moron in conversational circles. At least now I've got an excuse!