Bushy Dendrites Fight the Aging Process
January 07, 2013
Have you heard of the term "Bushy Dendrites?" Probably not. It was a term coined while teaching 3rd and 4th graders about the brain and nervous system. The point of this term was to help the students realize that their brain can continue to grow and learn. When my students became discouraged about learning something new, I would remind them that they had to give themselves time to learn the skill or concept. Their brain would eventually catch on, and in the process, they would have new or bushy dendrites. In the meantime, they should not give up and keep working and practicing the new things they were trying to learn. This term now serves as a reminder to keep my brain fit by challenging myself to learn new things.
If you want to get technical about the term, you could read Daniel G. Amen’s book, Use Your Brain to Change Your Age. He gives medical proof and simple ideas for creating a plan to slow the aging process in the brain. Test the idea for yourself! You might try learning a new language, how to improve your technical skills, or how to play bridge. All of those possibilities are available for free at MCPL.
To improve your technical skills, you can register for our Basic Computer Class. On Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m., join us for a hands-on class on learning the basics of Windows computing and basic Internet and email skills. Bring your own laptop for this class. Call the Red Bridge Branch at 816.942.1780 for more details.
If you have an eReader but are unsure how to download eBooks from the Library, we offer classes to help you get started. On Saturday, January 19 at 1:00 p.m., OverDrive: Downloading Digital eBooks will cover Nooks and similar devices. On Saturday, January 19 at 3:00 p.m. or Thursday, January 24 at 6:00 p.m., the classes will cover Kindles.
Learning a new language or improving on a language you already know is as easy as following this link to Mango Languages. This easy-to-use database focuses on teaching actual conversation skills for a wide variety of languages. Each lesson combines real-life situations and audio from native speakers with an easy-to-follow interface and simple, clear instructions. Mango Basic offers 35 foreign languages including Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Russian, and Spanish. It also includes ESL for speakers of 11 other languages. Mango Complete, for students who want to learn beyond the basics, offers more advanced courses for 28 foreign languages and includes 9 ESL courses.
Another challenge for your brain might involve learning how to play bridge. Kathy Rolfe will be teaching two four-week classes, Beginning Bridge Lessons and Beginning Bridge Lessons II, starting Monday, February 25 through Monday, April 15th. These two-hour classes, starting with the basics and moving into more advanced play, will be at 1:00 p.m. Once you have learned the basics, you can continue to meet on Mondays at 1:00 p.m. to practice the new skills.
A lot of exciting things are happening at Red Bridge, so come out to learn new things and grow your bushy dendrites!
Red Bridge Branch