What happens when we can’t trust our own brains? When we doubt our own memories and our bodies—even if only briefly and temporarily—and our ability to trust our bodily experience of the world is called into question?
Well this week it meant that I very nearly screwed up to the tune of roughly $10,000. I chair the review committee for a grant program, and in our final meeting a few days ago I was responsible for keeping everyone on track as we worked our way through this year’s applicants. The reviewers were deciding who would and wouldn’t get funded, a process that frequently provoked long and heated debate. As the non-voting chair, I was simultaneously managing the conversation and keeping records.
At the point when the debate seemed to be reaching a consensus I would call a vote, count the number of hands raised in favor or against, then make a note of the result on the list in front of me. Next to each name I wrote down a brief yes or no, while also repeating the decision out loud and shifting the discussion onto the next applicant. So multitasking in a fairly pressured situation, but not that daunting, all told.
Or that’s what I thought I was doing. Continue reading