Harry Potter and the Cranial Nerves


I guess I should explain the title. No, J.K. Rowling isn’t making an odd return to the world of witchcraft and wizardry. Yours truly is exploring the brain, head, and neck in gross anatomy. (For any newcomers to this blog, I’m a current first year physical therapy student bogged down in the joys of a summer of gross anatomy). There are 12 (count them) cranial nerves that originate from the brain and exit the skull through pesky little holes and wend and wind their way throughout the rest of the skull and face. There are various mnemonics for remembering the nerves and their order. A popular one is a bit dirty and I won’t repeat it here. Since that’s not really my thing I decided to search the internet for a different method of memorization. I happened to find one that spoke to the nerd in me. It runs as follows.

Only Owls Observe Them Travel And Find Voldemort Guarding Very Secret Horcruxes

(I won’t burden you with the names of the nerves that correspond to each word above).

I admit here that before last week I hadn’t watched any of the Harry Potter movies or read any of the books but it’s been on my agenda for awhile now. So, as of last week I have watched the first two movies in fragmented study breaks. (Since I’m new to this, do I even write the V-word)? They’re really very good and right after finals, I’m going to hunt down a copy of book numero uno.

At this particular moment in my life, I can really see the appeal of wishing for a letter from Hogwarts. I’m stuck in that limbo that all students fear. That special hell where you really need to study because you have an upcoming exam but can’t concentrate worth a darn. I’m at the point where ceiling cracks are more interesting than the 33 small bones that make up the vertebral  column. My Epic Soundtracks station on Pandora is failing me. I’ve only picked listlessly at my giant bag of trail mix. I’m not even distracted by brainstorming new ideas for current projects. I sat down to go over the nerves on my trusty white board and this appeared.


At this point I only have four more weeks of school. I can make out the light at the end of the tunnel.

Anyone know of a spell to facilitate osmosis of information from notebook pages into the brain?


9 thoughts on “Harry Potter and the Cranial Nerves

  1. […] Oh me! Oh life! I was recently asked by a fellow fantasy and Bilbo Baggins enthusiast, Miriel of Gisbourne, to answer four questions on writing. I’ll answer them and then tag three more people to do the same on their respective blogs. This really isn’t a burdenous (it’s a real word in Claire-land) project and it’s a chance to avoid studying those darn cranial nerves. […]


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