A window inside life at Augustana College

That awkward moment when…

The funniest thing happened last week during Augustana’s annual Coronation and Sing (where they crown the court and then all of the Greek groups perform songs about Augustana to the tunes of different familiar songs, often with a theme like Lion King or Lady Gaga.) The men and women’s music fraternity and sorority filed in, then randomly began to sing the national anthem without announcing it–and it wasn’t even on the agenda in the papers that were handed out. There was an awkward moment of silence where no one really knew what to do and everyone looked around for a good 2-3 seconds to realize what was going on before shooting up out of their seats all at once with a quick roar of laughter before giving respect to our nation’s flag. No offense to any die hard patriots here, but it was just so funny (maybe it was a “you had to be there” moment)

Just seeing everyone’s reaction to something so simple as not knowing what to do was really interesting and I was able to make sense of it in a technical way through re-examining one of the books I’ve read in my honors class, On Intelligence by Jeff Hawkins. It is a little complicated and technical but basically there are different hierarchical structures in the neocortex of the human brain and when there is an unexpected input, the brain reacts differently from when there is an expected input (kind of like when you listen to a song and you are able to predict the next note of a song but then they switch it up on you and catch you off guard) I think the same thing happened at the Coronation Ceremony and Sing, whenever we expect to hear the National Anthem, we are asked to rise first, and since no one asked us to rise, it caught our brains off guard.

In the words of my professor BK, YAY LEARNING!

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