Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Making Sense of Senses

Except for Daredevil, with his Radar Sense, and Spider-Man, with his Spider-Sense, most people come equipped with five senses, each of which as a specific function. Thus my surprise at receiving the following, which appeared in a daily update I receive from the City of Sioux Falls:

Parks and Recreation News...
Sensory Class for the Senses
Use your five senses to smell, taste, touch, and feel. This class is for children ages 4 to 6 years old...

I forwarded the above to my friend Paul, with whom I served as a magazine editor back in the day, with the subject line Why Editors Weep. I'll tell you why:

First off, I'd be interested in knowing what besides the senses a "sensory class" could be for.

Second, I have been under the impression that, aside from the above-noted exceptions, human beings generally have five senses. And it appears that the Parks and Recreation Department agrees with me on that. Which makes it puzzling that only four senses are listed.

Third, of the four senses listed, two of them are the same: what, sensorially speaking, would be the difference between "touch" and "feel" ? The five senses are commonly accepted as sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. I can therefore do naught but conclude that these poor 4-to-6-year-olds will be blindfolded with cotton stuffed in their little ears as they are sent out to explore their sense of touch by bumping into things, unless they smell the danger first, after which they will use their sense of taste while they lick their wounds.

Try making any sense of that!

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