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The Adventures of the Missing Brain

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S: The Adventures of the Missing Brain

FC: The Adventures of the Missing Brain | by the 2009-2010 3rd grade class

1: On September 18, 2009, the lucky Carmel Creek students of Dr. Himmelsbach's 3rd grade class had the privilege of holding a real human brain in their hands. The human brain weighs about 3 pounds and is a universe of dense neurons, synapses, blood vessels, and gray and white matter -- a truly amazing organ. That's why Dr. H calls it "the 3lb universe". It is not everyday that a person can hold this heavy, firm, wrinkled object in their hands. What a rare privilege the kids had. What if the kids never got that chance? Or what if one day the kids walked in to the classroom and discovered that the brain was missing? Oh no! Would it be deemed a school-wide emergency? Let's find out...

2: One day I walked into the classroom and the brain was gone! Dr.H is going to be trembling when he sees this, I said. At first, Dr.H did not notice the brain was missing but when he said ALENA, I was pretty sure that he noticed. Instead he asked me to bring the attendance down to the front office, so I did. On my way down the stairs I saw Mrs. Fouse and she had a big suspicious smile on her face. It kind of freaked me out but I just kept walking. When I got to the front office, I put the attendance envelope in the basket. On my way back to the classroom, I saw a girl. I said to her that my teacher is missing his teaching brain that he keeps in a jar on the file cabinet. When I walked into the classroom, I noticed it was missing! I asked her if she could help us find it. She said no, no I can't. She seemed nervous. She then gave me her business card that included her phone number and work address. I put the card in my pocket for safe keeping. When school was over, I asked my nanny to take me to the address on the business card that the lady gave to me today. I was suspicious that she may have taken the brain so I wanted to check out her office, just in case. When I walked into her office, she was very surprised. She asked why I was here. Remember today when I asked you about my teacher's missing brain and you said you did not have time to help us find it? She replied yes. I then told her that I suspected she knew more than she was telling us. I asked her if she knows Mrs. Fouse. She replied that she had met her before. Again, my gut was telling me that something was not right. I looked around but could not find the brain The next morning when I went back to school, we learned about more about the brain. For example, how much a brain weighs and how fragile it is. My thoughts turned again to the missing brain. The jar was there but it was empty. Thank goodness Dr H. had not yet noticed. Where could it be? Who took it? During recess, I went to the restroom and took the long way back to my classroom. | Alena's Story

3: mm | I passed the teachers lounge and decided to take a peek inside. Then, I saw the telephone in the lounge and it had looked odd to me. There was an extra button on the face of the phone that said “MISSING”. Curiosity got the best of me so I lifted the receiver and pressed the button. As I lifted my finger off the button, a secret door in the lounge opened. I put the receiver down and slowly headed towards the secret door. Should I go in? It was dark inside but I reached the wall and found a light switch. I turned on the light and looked inside the small, secret room. Inside I found the brain. It was sitting on top of a small table in the corner of the secret room. There were lots of tools also on the table. How did the brain get here? Did Mrs. Fouse put it here? Did the suspicious acting lady help her? I looked over my shoulder and no one was in the teachers lounge. So, I decided to pick up the brain and slip it under my jacket and take it back to Dr. H's classroom. I was able to place it back in the jar on the file cabinet before Dr. H even noticed it was gone. I was very proud to solve the mystery and happy that Dr. H never knew someone had taken his Grandma's brain. | by Alena Cardwell

4: A suspicious feeling came over me when I got in the classroom. I saw a jar lid on the floor. “Why would a ja-;” I mumbled to myself, but then I saw an open jar, the jar that held the brain. Then it struck me. The brain was missing! It couldn't have grown feet and ran away. It could've been stolen! Now that's an idea. After school, just when I was playing with Michael in the sand park, I saw a lump in a corner of the sand box. Was it the missing brain? I started running toward it to find out. But another child was also running toward it. “Stop!”, I shouted. He didn't hear me, so he kept on running. I couldn't dare to look on, “fwoosh!” It blew into about 13 pieces when he kicked it. Wait! The brain couldn't just blow. I examined the pieces. They were just wet sand packed together. I decided to go home. When I was passing by a class room, I saw something also in a semi-circle shape, but it was attached to the wall. Now was this the missing brain? As I got close, it turned out to be a light. I went home, though one question hanged in the air: where is the brain? | Cameron's Story

5: by Cameron Lu

6: One Monday morning, a teacher named Dr. James Himmelsbach was teaching his 3rd grade class when he discovered that two of his brains were missing from the jars full of preservative liquids. The whole class wondered and wondered where it could be, especially Dr. H because he cares a lot about those brains and one of them belonged to his grandmother. Dr.H became very suspicious of every person in Carmel Creek School. Everyone needs to be aware of what janitors are doing when cleaning classrooms. The principal hired a new janitor and his name was Jack. Nobody knew him that well. Jack had his name on posters all over town and nobody knew why. The students went to the boys/girls bathroom looking for the brain and the janitor's closet was right next to them. After they washed their hands they were curious about what was in the closet so they went inside. When they were inside the closet they saw a two headed snake, a four eared coyote, and a three eyed orangutan. The kids ran for their lives. Dr.H was teaching about inventors and was using big words such as organization, Einstein, character, and perspective. The kids knew that even if they told the teachers, the teachers would think it was nonsense. | Christian's Story

7: After school, the students went by StarBucks and saw one of the posters on the wall with Jack's face on it. They took the poster to school and slipped it under the principal's door. The missing brain is a mystery that has not been solved yet. | by Christian Labitan

8: I walked into the classroom on a cold rainy morning and noticed that the brain was missing! I thought that maybe Butch Cassidy had crawled out of his grave, stolen it, and dropped it in South Africa but that was unreal to imagine. But since I wanted to go to South Africa I bought a plane ticket to South Africa and walked to Table Rock. Luckily I had borrowed my Uncle Dan’s jack hammer and started digging with it. When I got to the core of Table Rock I found a pink object in a jar on the ground. I walked over to it and picked up the jar. Amazingly the brain was inside! I hopped on to a whirly bird that my grandpa had built to go back to San Diego. The helicopter landed at my school. Holding the brain, I snuck into the school and left it in its rightful place in the classroom. So do you believe me? | Elan's Story

9: by Elan Berger

10: It is my responsibility to find the brain, since I found out it was gone. I thought I noticed my friend Hannah's sister, Jessica Wang, acting a little suspicious earlier in the morning. So, I went to her house to find out if she took the brain. Jessica said she didn't take anything, but I thought she was lying. So, I told her “ I need you to have a little more integrity.” I think she understood my message and showed me a brain. Just then, Hannah arrived. She explained that this brain she bought for her house from the international science store. I said after her “sorry, I look for the wrong place.” Hannah surprised me and said: “I'll help you find it to make sure Dr. H. won't explode when gets the word. But, I still wonder one thing: WHERE IS THE BRAIN? | Emmie's Story

11: by Emmie Yao

12: It was math and science night at Carmel Creek Elementary School. While the third graders were down in the auditorium putting marshmallows on toothpicks, I noticed a few adults wandering the halls looking very suspicious. The next morning, when we walked in to the classroom, we saw that the brain was gone! Where could it be? My little brother told me that Dr. H's classroom was unlocked the night before and he heard some of the adults whispering that the brain in Dr. H's room was actually Einstein's brain. (I told him this wasn't true because I knew for a fact that Einstein's brain is in a lab somewhere else being observed by scientists). While Dr. H was on the phone with the police, E.B., A.C, Z.A., B.F.M. and I decided to help find the brain. So we went in to the hallway to find some clues. We found a tiny, pink thing that looked like clear cloth on the floor. We realized this must be part of the brain! We rushed around the school to find more clues. There were pink,wet spots near a door and we saw a faint, pink substance outside...the brain! We rushed to retrieve it, but the person who took it must have tricked us, because the spots went both right and left! So we decided to split up and return after five minutes to report our progress. A.C. and Z.A. went left while E.B. and I went right and B.F.M. stayed back to make sure no one was stalking us. We all found more pink strings and, by golly, part of what must have been the brain stem! Then, we found a tiny part of the cerebellum leading into a classroom on the first floor, but we didn't know who's class it was! We concluded that someone must have taken the brain and done something with it in that very classroom. But what? | Evan's Story

13: mm | Then... all at once...the door burst open! There was pink, red and blue smoke that rushed out of the door...and standing right there was a terrifying creature with crazy white hair coming toward us! It was Frank-Einstein! Before he could grab us we ran and ran and ran! We ran to the auditorium. We saw more smoke and a shadowy figure in the distance near the science lab. The shadowy figure ran towards the music room. We ran after it! There was a piece of cloth left behind with the letter "e" on it. We went out the door and saw a woman dressed in white with something green on her running off with Frank Einstein through the parking lot. Then we recognized her and couldn't believe who it was! Could it be that she tried to recreate Einstein with the brain from Dr.H's classroom? | by Evan Dominguez

14: I walked into the classroom today and I felt there is some thing different about the room. I tried to look around and find out what has changed but it was hard to point it out. I went to my seat, put my backpack down, and sat down. Just at that moment Evan turned to me and whispered in my ears, “Have you noticed that the brain is not in the class?” Ahah, that was it. Now I knew what was wrong. Suddenly many questions started to come to my head: “where can it be? How did it move? Did he grow feet and run? And most importantly, what are we going to do when Dr. H finds out about this? I took a deep breath, and I thought “Today is going to be a very hard day at school, I know that.” Dr.H came into class as usual and greeted all of us. He went to the board and started to teach new lesson in Math. He was calm. He was acting normal. It seemed like nothing was wrong. I thought to myself: How could he not notice that his beloved brain, which was always on the file cabinet, is missing? At that moment it came to my mind, I knew why he did not say anything or do anything, the reason was that it was Dr.H who took the brain. It seemed very logical to me. He liked that brain, he talks about it a lot, Might be he does not want to share the brain with anyone anymore. This is it. I need to do some thing, I have to go and tell someone. | But Who? | Farbod's Story

15: by Farbod Mahdavi | I waited until the class was dismissed; Today Mrs. Amini was our classroom Mom. I saw her standing in the hall way I ran to her and as I tried to keep calm and tell her what I know she smiled and said that she knows what I would like to tell her, Is this about the brain? How did she know!... | I heard Dr. H voice saying “Farbod try to concentrate on the subject.” Okay I did try but it was very hard. I knew I should do something otherwise the next group of third graders will not have the opportunity to meet the brain, study and learn fascinating facts about it. I learned a lot when Dr. H talked about that brain in our classroom. It was one of the best lessons we had. I thought a bit more and suddenly I remembered the kind faces of our classroom Moms. I am sure they are going to help me to get the brain back from Dr. H and put it back in the classroom.

16: The brain was gone! I gazed at the classroom window for clues. I saw a person carrying a basket with a puffy thing inside. Is that the brain? It might be! “Here I come, the brain rescuer!” I yelled with all my strength as I snatched my razor scooter and chased after the person. I had to stop him, but how? He went through a dense forest, while I approached him quietly from behind. Before I could snatch the brain, someone else did it. And it was a chimp! It dashed off holding the thing in one hand. I tried to catch up, but I was lagging behind so much. Suddenly my attitude changed to fear, for what if I couldn't get the brain? Should I do it some other time? “No”, I knew I couldn't procrastinate and that it was my responsibility to get the brain back. Then, I remembered my favorite character, Tarzan. I gripped a hanging vine with one hand and swung shouting “ohhhhh” and beating my chest with my other hand. Suddenly I heard a hiss above my head. I looked up in horror to see TWO pairs of golden eyes shimmering in the dark. “Oh, my gosh!” I was hanging on to a two-headed snake. I looked down. It was quite deep, plus there were many coyotes. I jumped right in-time to land on ones back. “Yeehaaa”, “Giddy up!” Soon the coyotes and I were near a river. I jumped on to a hump. It started moving! It was a seal. The seal led me to the other side of the river. | Guari's Story

17: It was just a plain old pink cabbage. Is this what I was chasing all day along? I was embarrassed but relieved. Now, the question is, "Where would the brain be?" | by Guari Gunasekaran | I saw the same person holding the brain. He must have grabbed it from the chimp. He was walking to a nearby restaurant and went straight to the kitchen. I sneaked up behind him. He started chopping the thing. “Don't chop the brain!” I yelled. The person looked startled. “Brain? What brain?” he asked. I got a closer look. You know what I saw?

18: Oh my gosh! There is going to be an exhibition on the brain at the Exploratorium today. The days feature is a live demonstration on the human mind. My class is going to hold the classroom brain on Monday. Dr. H. has told us so much about the three pound universe, I can't wait to learn more about it and hold it in my own little hands. I arrived at the Exploratorium early in the morning and went straight to the demo section so I could sit right in front of the dissection table and see everything clearly. | The instructor was a young man with white hair just like Dr. H.’s. A lamb's brain was used for the dissection. It is only one third of the size of a human's. The instructor compared it to a human's brain, which was in a jar sitting on the table. The brain looked so much like the one in my classroom. It had a grayish, purplish color and was very wrinkly. | Sunday | Hannah's Story

19: by Hannah Wang | I couldn't wait to tell Dr. H. about what I learned about the brain from yesterday. Everyone was excited since we were going to hold the brain. Dr. H. went to get the brain and slowly put it on the table. We all got gloves and were all very quiet since we were too excited to make any distractions. Dr. H. opened the jar and looked and looked.and looked. It seemed as though time has stopped until I heard a small voice say, “The brain isn't there!” Suddenly everyone started talking. “Where is the brain?” Who took the brain?” I was still so shocked when an image of the brain and the white haired instructor at the Exploratorium flowed through my mind... | Monday

20: I was in my time machine going back to the year 1947, when Albert Einstein lived. I landed on a tree that was on Einstein's street. The tree was really close to Einstein's home. I peered through Einstein's window and saw him with grizzled white hair, studying a shark, one orangutan, two squids, three coyotes, a dog's liver, a bullet (let's just hope it won't explode), and a brain. Wait, a brain! That's really strange. I was very suspicious. Could that be The Brain? Maybe I should go in and ask Einstein. After all, it won't hurt to ask the smartest person in history. So I walked in and asked him. He said no. It was his Dad's brain. So where was the brain?!!! | Julie's Story

21: by Julie Wu

22: I went into Dr. H's classroom this morning and was terrified when I saw the empty jar where the brain usually is. I suddenly jerked my head right and saw a hole. I was scared to go in but I wasn't about to let Dr. H down, so I took a deep breath and jumped into the dark pit. I finally realized after ten minutes I was underground, even darker! I heard a crackling sound and saw a skeleton ambling towards me. “Follow me” the skeleton rasped. I followed the bony body down a dark corridor and saw a pink ball shaped like a brain in the distance. I tackled the brain and when I got to the brain, I saw the terrific Hindenburg that lasted until May 6, 1937. “Go on up, boy” the skeleton whispered. I jumped in like a frog with the brain and the Hindenburg started up. I flew back to Carmel creek elementary and smiled. Perhaps jumping into a dark pit wasn't that bad after all. However, when I went back into Dr. H's classroom, the empty jar where the brain usually is was gone! | Meilong's Story

23: by Meilong Zhang

24: So the brain is gone... well if anyone can find it, I can. They don't call me a PI for nothing. After everyone in my family was fast asleep I jumped onto my skateboard and headed to Carmel Creek Elementary School to look for clues. As I entered the playground I saw a big flash of green light in the sky heading for my classroom. I immediately ran into school and up the stairs towards Dr H's classroom. I slowly crept towards the door and listened. “Hey Larry, lets put it back now, we've had it long enough.” “Ok Mo” I burst open the door and shouted. “Ha, I've caught you red handed.” To my surprise I saw three aliens with blue heads and green eyes starring back at me as if I was crazy. But I could not see the brain anywhere. “Where's the brain?” I asked. “What brain?” all three asked together. “Dr H's missing brain of course.” “We don't know anything about a missing brain. We just came to return this copy of The Three Stooges before you weird creatures noticed that it was missing.” “Will you keep it a secret if we borrow this Betty Boop movie next as long as we promise to return it soon?” | Parvinder's Story

25: by Parvinder Battoo | Well, I didn't find the brain but I learned something about aliens and that was that they are not as bad as you might think, they are they are actually quite friendly. But still the mystery is unsolved... Who could have taken the brain?

26: When I went into the classroom this morning, I looked at where the brain was supposed to be. The brain wasn't there! I saw Ms. Totina this morning with a grin on her face. I followed Ms. Totina out of the school building and to the Ringling Brothers circus at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. I went past the trapeze tent and stopped at the Ferris wheel. I thought I saw the brain in one of the cars that flashed by. I looked carefully but it was someone who had a pink shirt on. Then, I followed Ms. Totina around the milk bottle tent and I saw someone win a big teddy bear. I thought, “good for him, yippee!” Finally, Ms. Totina stopped at the dunking booth. I hid behind the milk bottle tent but I still had a view of Ms. Totina. | Ryan's Story

27: by Ryan Kaney | I saw Ms. Totina with a jar that looked like the brain was in it. But when she opened it, it was prizes for when someone dunked another person into the water. Where could the brain be?

28: “It must have been some kind of metamorphosis,” I thought. I swear that when I came to class this morning, there was a monstrous cockroach in the place where Dr. H's beloved brain used to be! Was I dreaming or did the brain transform into a nasty bug overnight? I imagined the brain as a dark bug laying on its armor-hard back and waving its many tiny legs in the air, trying to turn itself upright. It tries and tries, but it can't get up. Finally it throws itself over with all of its might and tumbles off of the high file cabinet to the ground and scurries away. A bug??! What was I thinking? I glanced out the window at the dreary weather, feeling gloomy and wondering how Dr. H. would feel to know that his granny's brain was gone from its home in that jar. I felt a responsibility to help find out what had happened. Come to think of it, I do recall seeing a bigger-than-normal bug near the windowsill earlier that day. Instead of turning away in disgust, I had reached into my lunch box and pulled out a few bits of stinky old goat cheese to offer to the poor creature. My thoughts were interrupted by a loud commotion in the hallway. I saw Mr. Ward chasing a creepy black thing, carrying his bug spray and fly swatter. Oh no! That would be the end of the bug, I mean the brain! | Shawdi's Story

29: by Shawdi Amini | As I started to yell at Mr. Ward, Ryan, the kid next to me shook me awake. I had dosed off in class! What a relief, it was only a dream. I quickly turned to look at the jar expecting to see the purplish-gray brain floating inside, but all I saw was an empty jar! Where could the brain be?!

30: It's the last day of school before spring break and everybody is shouting out what they are going to do. Then we noticed that the brain was missing. Who could want to steal a brain? Dr. H asked the class, “Has anyone seen the brain?” We all said “no. We haven't seen it since lunch time.” The bell rang and everybody ran out the door. When I got to my house I remembered as we were loading our suitcases into the taxi to the airport that I needed my backpack. So I ran back inside and grabbed it. When we got to Hawaii we went to check in at our hotel. My dad said to, “ Hurry up”. So I grabbed my bag and ran over to the elevator. We checked out our room then we went down to the beach. Since we were in a hurry we let house cleaning unpack our bags as we headed down to grab dinner at the beach. After we ate we walked on the beach, which is right behind our hotel. I saw this big jellyfish just floating in the water. It looks like a jellyfish, but it looks an awful lot like the brain too. Since my dad grew up in Hawaii I asked him if he'd ever seen a jellyfish like that. He said "not really – I'm not sure what that is!” It was about the size of a volleyball maybe a little smaller. The next morning we went over to the blow hole. When we got there I know I saw the same jellyfish at the beach. This has started to scare me. Saturday morning we went back to San Diego. We decided to go to the beach here too. I saw Dr. H surfing, and guess what was floating right next to the him? | Spencer's Story

31: by Spencer Lytle | Could it be the same jellyfish like thing that I saw in Hawaii? Man this is really weird I thought! It's the same ocean but could it really be here too? When we got back to the classroom the brain was still missing. Hmmm - where could the brain be?

32: While I was at 31 flavors ice cream shop, I was looking around at a cake. It was bright pink with a lot of bumps. I looked carefully and took a bite of my ice cream, "Brain Freeze!" I told myself. Was the Brain doing that? Really, it took me a while to figure out Mr. B was hiding in the frozen strawberry yogurt cake. That's when the Brain jumped out and ran. It pushed the door. But the Brain couldn't get out so I asked: "Need some help there, buddy?" Then I opened the door for the him. As soon as that he ran far away and disappeared. I met Mr. Brain again in Beijing on the Great Wall. The time I saw him he tried to act like a rock. Unfortunately his plan didn't work since he looked more like a book. I got closer, it did not budge even one bit. Then he said: "I want to take a picture of this great wall!" He wanted to be famous in the brain world since he was going to try to walk the whole wall. Plus he also wanted to ride the cart slides from the top with me. When we got to the bottom, we went to the petting zoo to feed the bears while they were playing and begging for food on their hind legs. | Timothy's Story

33: by Timothy Damore | Finally it was time to go back to my friend's house and I said "goodbye" to the Brain.

34: On a Monday morning, I walked into the classroom and saw that the brain is missing! It was a terrible sight. Dr. H. was on a vacation to the Bahamas and if he saw that the brain is missing he would get very very mad! It was finally recess time and I investigated the whole playground trying to find a clue. Then I found something pink and had squiggly lines. I thought it was the brain so I clapped my hands with glee and I called the aid to get it down. The aid came, got a stick, and threw it. It darted all the way to the brain and .Plop! I screamed since the brain landed on my head but that was not a real brain. It was a pink ball with squiggly black lines. I sighed and said, “I'll never be able to find the brain.” Two weeks have passed and Dr. H. was almost back from his vacation. I felt very nervous. It was soon science and that Dr. H. said that we are going to have a surprise at science. I didn't know what was the surprise but then our science teacher Mrs. Fouse took something that was very surprising. It was the brain! Suddenly the door opened and in came Dr. H. He told us that he had a great time surfing at the Bahamas and about his vacation. Then he said what we did. First, I told him that the brain was missing and I started investigating so at science, Mrs. Fouse took out the .”okay okay” said Dr. H. “I gave the brain to Mrs. Fouse so you can do an experiment.” I said, “oh” and Dr. H. laughed. I was very relieved and Dr. H. told me that I was trustworthy and responsible. | Zaynah's Story

35: by Zaynah Ali

36: Wow, what adventures the brain has had, traveling to places like Hawaii, Einstein's house, South Africa, the teachers' lounge, the circus, the exploratorium, a dark pit, a dense forest, the sand park, the janitor's closet, a friend's house, Baskin Robbins, and the Great Wall of China, then transforming into a cockroach and Frank-Einstein, and finally settling down to watch the Three Stooges. Ultimately, the brain finds its way back to its rightful place with its rightful owner. In fact, it is the children who will move on to encounter different adventures. Yet the experiences of the brain, two headed snakes, coyotes, the Hindenburg, and all that they learned in a very special third grade year will always remain with them. Happy 60th Birthday Dr. Himmelsbach! Fondly, The Kids and Parents of Room 34 February 12, 2010

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  • Title: The Adventures of the Missing Brain
  • Book made up of stories by Dr. Himmelsbach's 3rd graders. Birthday present for his 60th birthday.
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  • Published: about 8 years ago