Jacks Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Health and Fitness  |  House: Booksie Classic


Basically a day in a young by's life but I explain each biological process experienced


John’s Saturday Activities

Introduction

Like every other child, John Brad engages in various activities while at home. John is a green-eyed 12-year old boy with freckles who wears glasses for the larger part of his average day. He lives in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, which is a suburban neighborhood situated approximately 6 miles from the heart of Manchester city. On this particular day, John did not have to attend school, since it was a Saturday. Hence, his schedule involved various fun activities and doing some studying. Typically, his fun activities involved playing with his younger sister in their compound, watching TV and playing video games on the family computer. While these activities are expected of a 12-year old boy, there are several biological/internal functions involved in each of them. This narrative follows John's actions during the day and also discusses some of the body functions that were required for each.

Brushing Teeth and Eating Breakfast

As usual, John began his day by brushing his teeth before joining his family for breakfast. Brushing teeth is the primary activity, through which John observes his oral hygiene. By brushing his teeth, John ensures that they are strong and free from infections. Specifically, this daily activity protects the enamel, crown, fibers, and pulp cavity, which contains the nerves and blood vessels that supply food and oxygen to the cytoplasm (Sherwood, 2011). He took about 5 minutes doing so, and then washed his face, before joining the rest of the family on the breakfast table.

John’s breakfast menu for the day included toast with jam, eggs, sausages, tea, and a piece of melon. His mother is usually careful in ensuring that John and his sister have a well-balanced breakfast. Apparently, breakfast is the meal that kick-starts an individual’s metabolism by helping in the burning of calories throughout the coming day. John had woken up that morning with his blood sugar that makes the muscles and brainwork efficiently markedly low and, hence, needed to be replenished. Being only 12 years old, John did not understand why he couldn't have his favorite delicacy, fries, and chocolate. Thus, his mother continually reminded him that a balanced diet not only made him stronger but contained nutrients such as vitamins that protected him against diseases. Toast bread, eggs, and sausage collectively supply several calories including fats, carbs, carbohydrates and proteins that are essential in the initiation of the three metabolism energy creation processes including ATP-C, Anaerobic Glycolysis, and Aerobic Phosphorylation (Sherwood, 2011). While the melon piece provided the vitamins that would be required for the earlier part of the day, for every bite of bread, sausage, or egg that John took that morning, the processes of mechanical and chemical digestion were automatically initiated. Mechanical digestion, which basically involves mastication (chewing) and saliva wetting, took place in his mouth. After swallowing his food, the more complicated process of chemical digestion was initiated. This is where gastric juice starts the process of digesting the proteins. Here, hydrochloric acid and pepsin dissolve the food particles that are simultaneously mixed through peristalsis before being acted upon by the digestive enzymes. This process often takes place in one’s stomach for approximately one to two hours before the resulting chime is guided into the duodenum via the pyloric sphincter valve to be digested further by digestive enzymes and bile juice from the pancreas and liver respectively. The digestion process continues in the small enzyme where 95% of the nutrient absorption takes place as water and the collected nutrients are absorbed into the blood. The nutrients were subsequently transported to the various parts of John’s body via the various transportation systems, including the channel transport system, molecular syringe, conjugation machinery, and outer membrane vesicles to fuel and support the various functions of John’s body.

From the time John woke up to the time he had finished his breakfast, he had unknowingly used all the five senses of his body. John was able to taste everything that was placed in his mouth from the toothpaste to the water and consequently the food, using the taste bud (gustatory receptors) located on his papillae. The taste function is basically a sensation resulting from the chemical reaction between taste receptors and substances placed in the mouth. Apparently, the reason he was able to continue eating his food delightfully was that the resulting sensation from this reaction along with the olfaction sense was able to stimulate a positive response (sweet flavor). Essentially, most food servings have various tastes (bitterness, sourness, saltiness, and sweetness) mixed in proportions that appeal to diverse taste preferences (Banks & Dabbs, 1996).

Besides tasting, John, like an average human, was able to decipher different odorants that day. From brushing his teeth to joining his family at the breakfast table, he was able to inhale odorants that entered his nose and subsequently dissolved in the olfactory epithelium, which is situated at the back of his nasal cavity. Apparently, things like food and gasoline among several others often release molecules that flow through the air and enter a person’s olfactory system either through the back of the throat or nostrils. Thus, John was able to smell things such as perfumes and the toothpaste via his nostrils and food through the back of his throat while eating. The olfactory epithelium holds several olfactory receptors to which odor molecules are bound. Thus, odor molecules from various things found their way into John's nostrils and connected with the olfactory receptors that subsequently send electric impulses to the glomerulus which then forwarded them to other regions of the brain (Menche, 2012). The touch function enabled John to feel the brittleness of the brush, the softness of the food, the fabric of the clothes on his body and the hardness of the table among others. This was made possible by the nerve endings that consequently feel surfaces before sending sensation pulses to the brain. Most importantly, John, as always, was able to move around easily due to the sight function. Although he was myopic (long sighted), he could see relatively well due to the prescription glasses that he wore every day almost throughout the day. His case was such that, when his eyes are at rest, the items that are far are focused behind the retina. As the lens takes a more convex shape to focus better on the object, the eyes grow tired causing him to squint. However, the convex lenses in his spectacles help to bring objects closer, hence, making it easier for him to focus on images.

Playing Ball with his Sister

After breakfast, John was finally able to go out and have the fun he was looking forward to. John has only one sibling with whom he plays a lot. Although he often wished that he could have more friends to play with at home, the parents in the neighborhood did very little to encourage their children to mingle. In fact, one could tell that some of them were openly against the idea. Hence, as on other similar days, John had to settle for his sister as a playmate. On this day, they played football and some hide-and-seek games. Since he was two years older than his sister, John had to play the coach, the caretaker, and opponent roles. This was particularly exhaustive, but he had no other option. Besides energy, the game movements he made required a lot of mental engagements and reflexes. The type of energy used in this case is primarily ATP phosphocreatine, which releases energy quickly in short, sharp bursts. The mental and reflex engagements, on the other hand, are supported and driven by the brain and nervous system and the endocrine system. Playing games such as football often initiates complex activities in the different regions of the brain and involves the firing of billions of inter-linked neurons, as well as several chemical systems within a person’s body allowing them to respond to and engage in certain behaviors and respond to social environments (Haugen, Säfvenbom & Ommundsen, 2011).

Thus, unconsciously, John’s interpretation of sensory information (from seeing, smelling, hearing, and tasting was being taken care of by the central nervous system, which also controlled his every other move while playing. The various parts and classes of the CNS including the spinal cord, the autonomic nervous system (ANS), and somatic nervous system each have different functions that enabled John to make game decisions, respond to various instances, and maintain balance. On this particular day, John was very playful. He played for several hours, only taking breaks to take a glass of water to replenish his body fluids that he continually lost through perspiration (sweating). After some time, he started feeling hunger pangs as his stomach became tighter. While hunger pangs usually begin 12 to 24 hours after the initial meal, the playing had consumed most of his body energy and, therefore, it needed replenishing of its sugar and fat levels. Besides, fatigue had crept in due to the low levels of leptin, which is responsible for the release of ghrelin; the hormone that causes hunger pangs. At this point, he and his sister went back to the house to get some lunch.

Lunch with his Sister

While John and his sister had been playing, his mother had been observing them keenly. She had noted that they had particularly played harder and for longer periods that day. Hence, she knew that she had to ensure that they had a midday meal that would re-energize them by raising their blood sugar levels and improve the concentration levels that had become notably sluggish. She knew that the best meal for them would be to combine lean proteins with complex carbohydrates, which together form a concentrated, relatively durable source of energy. Hence, she resorted to serving them non-fat yogurt, lean meat sandwich on whole-grain bread, some vegetables, and orange juice. The aroma of the food was particularly appealing to John. Apparently, the hunger pangs had enhanced his nasal chemosensory performance and food palatability. Although John did not like meat sandwich, the hunger pangs and accompanying urgency sensations drove him to consume two whole sandwiches, a full glass of yogurt, and a generous serving of vegetables. After lunch, his mother told them to rest in the living room, possibly to allow the food to be digested and the body’s metabolism processes to commence.

Watching TV and Playing Video Games

John spends his after-lunch resting time watching TV with his sister. Their father had not returned from work, hence, giving them the opportunity to watch their favorite episodes on the Cartoon Network. John was not very fond of cartoons. Besides, he did not like the “girlish” cartoons that were his favorites. He preferred to watch action movies such as the Avengers, and Adventures of Tintin among others. Unfortunately, his sister always had her way in the house, so instead of competing with her, he resorted to seeking permission from his mother to play video games.

Like several other young boys in his neighborhood, John spends the better part of his afternoon playing video games on the home computer. His mother often allowed him to play video games because she strongly believed that they are essential in the development of cognitive skills. She believed that particular video games provided the opportunity for John to venture into an engaging environment that can enable him to develop his rational mental skills, visual attention, the iconic representation of process and long-term memory skills. So on such days, she usually allowed him to play games on the home computer during the afternoons before working on his homework. John had a particular liking for car racing and football video games. A video game is widely regarded as a form of intricate media that integrates various gaming properties, and that requires active interactions between a person and a computer. While the activities involved in playing video game require less physical energy (such as that provided by ATP phosphocreatine), they require profound levels of cognitive engagements for problem-solving, decision-making, and perception. Here, the sight and hearing functions work hand in hand to enable one to make appropriate decisions. The ability to remember and reflect on events often involves the hippocampus as well as the temporal lobes found within the cerebral cortex. Implicit memory, on the hand, uses non-cortical structures to encode information regarding motor and perpetual skills (Staiano & Calvert, 2011).

John was particularly intrigued by the sounds that accompanied the racing game. They seemed very real to him and often made him feel he was driving a real car. He did not know that there were various processes involved in the detection and interpretation of the sound from the computer. The eardrum is vibrated by sound waves from the computer and subsequently causes the ossicles to vibrate. The vibrations are then transmitted to the cochlea to stimulate the receptors that send an electrical impulse to the brain to interpret the meanings of what John hears from the computer. Together with sight function, which is depended on the transmission of light and reflection of light, the hearing function are among the most critical senses used in collecting gaming information to be processed by the brain.

Unfortunately, his mother allowed him to play video games only for one hour due to his eyes’ condition. This was the only major disappointment of the day. Video games comprised his favorite fun time and, so, he did not like the fact that he was denied the opportunity to play like his peers. Despite his voiced disgruntlement, his mother could not be swayed to back down. Although John always maintained a relatively calm attitude even in stressful instances, he was a very emotional individual. Nevertheless, he managed to keep his anger within himself. As with other emotions, however, various psychological events were stirred within his body. Typically, the brain’s amygdala is responsible for identifying and interpreting threats and subsequently sending out alarms that compel individuals to take certain defensive or offensive actions (Menche, 2012). How one reacts depends on what he/she has learned from previous experiences as well as the accompanying environmental attributes. In this case, John’s past experiences had instilled in him the perception that he could never argue with his mother. Hence, although his body’s muscles tensed up as a burst of energy was released in readiness for defensive or offensive action, even as his heart rate accelerated and his breath became increasingly sharp, he managed to control and retain the resulting emotions within his body. Instead, he retreated to his room to study. However, since the emotions in him were still high, he could not focus appropriately. So he resorted to taking a nap to relax his mind. While this was merely a reflex on his part, the nap significantly improved his mental efficiency and ability to focus. His nap lasted only 15 minutes, but it notably relaxed his mind. Thus, after waking up, he continued with is studies completed his homework and left the room to join the others for dinner. His anger was completely gone, and he even wondered why he had been angry at his mother in the first place when he knew that she would never hurt him purposefully for no reason.

Dinner

As they sat down to eat the pasta, chicken wings and vegetables that their mother had prepared, John kept wondering what he should say to his mother. He could sense by her silence that she was exhausted after spending the day ensuring they had eaten well and stayed safe. “It was unfair and irresponsible to have stormed out of the room like that,” he thought to himself. In the end, he managed to bring himself to say the most important words he had learned so far; “sorry mom.” The calming effect of these words was profound as his mother smiled and came round the table to hug him. His father looked up wondering what was happening. He opened his mouth to speak but changed his mind immediately; he did not want to spoil the moment for the two. After dinner, John retreated to his room to sleep feeling exhausted from the day’s activities.

Conclusion

John always regards Saturday as his ultimate fun-day. On this particular day, he managed to engage in various activities that gave him pleasure. Throughout the day, however, his body also engaged various chemical and biological processes to prepare him for the different activities. From seeing and hearing to eating and playing, several biological functions were involved. He was also able to experience different emotions, thanks to the inherent hormones in his body. As a typical 12-year old, he was apparently unaware of the processes and changes that were ongoing in his body. Essentially, while John’s activities of the day may not seem complicated or tedious, it is apparent that thousands of biological functions took place in his body to support virtually every move he made. Moreover, he believed that he had had a perfect day since there is no unusual activity he experienced. He believed that since, he managed to spend the better part of the day with his sister, he felt he had created a stronger bond with his family.  In doing this, he would certainly have a better week at school the following week and repeat the activity again over the weekend. Clearly, his sister was his best friend.

 

 

 

 

References

Banks, T., & Dabbs, J. M., Jr. 1996. Salivary testosterone and cortisol in delinquent and violent

urban subculture. Journal of Social Psychology, vol. 136(1), pp. 49–56

Haugen T, Säfvenbom R, Ommundsen Y. 2011. Physical activity and global self-worth: The role

of physical self-esteem indices and gender. Mental Health and Physical Activity, vol. 4(2), pp. 49–56

Menche N. (ed.). 2012. Biologie Anatomie Physiologie. Munich: Urban & Fischer/ Elsevier

Sherwood, L. 2011. Fundamentals of Psychology (4th eds.). London, UK: Cengage Learning Staiano, A., & Calvert, S. (2011). Exergames for physical education courses: Physical, social,

and cognitive benefits. Child Development Perspectives, vol. 5, pp. 93-98
Starr, C., & McMillan, B. 2014. Human Biology (11th eds). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning

 


Submitted: January 09, 2018

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