Who doesn't like to go to the beach?
The sun, the sand, the sound of the birds, the smell of the sea?
Relaxing, isn't it?
I'd like to know though, have you ever been to one of those beaches with sea sponges scattered over the sands?
I remember going to Greece one summer and being terribly excited to find this sea sponge washed up on the beach.
I decided, rather naïvely for those of you who know a thing or two about sea sponges, to take it home and use it in the shower that very evening.
Besides the fact the sponge had a distinctly pungent odour of the sea, I will always remember taking it into the bathroom, filling the sink with water and dropping the sponge in.
And what happened next was totally not what I was expecting.
You see, in learning, we often liken the brain to a sponge. Particularly a child's brain. And this is because of it's ability to soak up knowledge. Whatever you throw at it, it just soaks it in.
But somehow things don't happen quite like that when we are older.
It's annoying, isn't it?
Because, you see, that summer day standing over the bathroom sink in Greece, my sea sponge did nothing but float.
And when I pushed it under, it bobbed straight back up.
So I held it under the water for a bit.
And it still bobbed straight back up.
I started scratching my head.
What is going on?
Aren't sponges supposed to soak up water?
Isn't that their thing?
I mean, had I inadvertently picked up the world's first water repellent sponge?
But think about it a moment, isn't that how your brain feels most days when you are trying to learn and remember something new?