By Jim Walsh, CIP Bloomington Head Student Advisor
Bloomington is one of the Midwest’s brainiest cities, and this summer it’s become even brainier. 22 uniquely decorated, five-foot tall fiberglass brains will be on display throughout the city from May to October. Susy Meacham, CIP-Bloomington’s Wellness Coordinator, and the students set out to find as many brains as they could within walking distance of the CIP offices and apartments.
The public exhibit, “Brain Extravaganza!”, was produced and coordinated by brain-health advocate Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor who is affiliated with the IU School of Medicine. Her New York Times best-selling book, My Stroke of Insight, is being adapted into a major motion picture directed by Ron Howard.
Near the local organic grocery store co-op, Bloomingfoods, is a brain with brightly colored fruits and vegetables. “This brain makes me hungry,” said second year student, Eugene.
“This brain speaks to me,” Douglas commented, admiring the brain in front of the Trinity Episcopal Church decorated with the symbols of many different religions.
Five brain facts are posted next to each brain placed around the city. “That is fascinating!” said first-year student, Tema, reading that people who have trauma to their left hemisphere language centers may not be able to speak but can often sing.
Several students especially liked the brain in front of the John Waldron Arts Center decorated with headphones with old LP’s molded into the base. Students enjoyed touching and hugging “Brain #7” in Fountain Square Mall which is completely knitted in yarn.
Susy and her wellness class found a beautiful paper mache covered brain on the courthouse lawn with a fact that stated: “Exercise increases blood flow to the brain which helps keep neuronal synapses strong.” “Those synapses help process the information in our brains so we can think, remember, move and do everything! It’s just one of many reasons why it’s so important to exercise,” Susy said to the group.