Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Wicked Witch of Doctorville

Last night we had dinner with friends at their house, and after dinner, while the younger kids played video games, we older kids played Pictionary. The Girls Team won, in spite of the fact that I was half of the team. My partner looked at my drawing of a circle with a small square in it and immediately said, "Eight Ball!" It took about 16 seconds. Well, it looked like a circle with a small square in it. If the roles had been reversed, I probably would never have gotten the answer from that drawing.

Fortunately my partner has a young brain. We established that in several ways last night. Like the fact that she now has, and uses, a Nintendo DS with games on it to improve the health of her brain. She demonstrated her abilities on it, while I demonstrated my disabilities. Ouch.

I was thinking the other day that I really need to do some cross-training for my brain, because mostly I sit in this chair and do word stuff. I had thought of picking up knitting again. I once made a six foot long neck scarf--my crowning achievement before I put the needles away in junior high.

But, wow, last night was a huge wake-up call. I had a heck of a time drawing a bear (which again, she did get, but I'm amazed that she could see "bear" in that mess I drew). "Neighborhood" she got when I drew two tiny squares with triangles on top (the houses). That was another really quick one.

And when it was my turn to guess and her turn to draw, she did wonderful pictures. I got frustrated when I couldn't guess from her drawings, because she did a great job. Obviously I wasn't a total failure at this--we won after all--but I do think I need to get my brain doing some different things in addition to the every day reading and writing.

Like the two pictures here? She drew these--really quite similar to these pictures--and after some mumbling to myself I shouted out, "The Wicked Witch of Doctorville!" Famous book title or desperate call for help from a brain that constantly thinks about books?

It took me a few more seconds to get the correct answer: Witch Doctor. And, as I said, the Girls Team did win. I just think yours truly needs to train some before the next game.



  1. Since I draw all day long every day, I don't think I need work on the right brained stuff. But I could really work on the left brained stuff like Math.
    Have you ever read anything about the eight intelligences? I'm working my way up the list and before I die I hope to be good at them all. Since that will probably never happen maybe that will mean I'll live to be 200.

    Enjoyed the blogg.
    Write on,
    Teresa R.

  2. Like Teresa, I should work on the left-brained stuff. But like, I don't really wanna. Afterall I have to balance the budget at work, right? Isn't that enough math? Um, well, way too much math for me. I'm perfectly happy with my artsy-fartsy little fantasy world I've created for myself. Words. Music. Art. Creativity. I'm okay with it. :)

  3. Teresa,

    There are EIGHT intelligences? Good for you, working your way up the list. I'm so impressed--while simultaneously sticking my head in the sand, refusing to Google "Eight Intelligences" and find out how badly off I really am.


    I like artsy-fartsy world, too. Balancing a budget sounds like torture.

    I may sit here for a while and work on my rendition of "bear," which I recall as one of my worst efforts of the evening.

    I guess I could do some math, too. Ick.

  4. I like to believe I'm well rounded, but now Teresa has me wondering about the eight intelligences, which I couldn't resist looking up. Reading and writing, art and music have always come naturally to me and as much as I hate to admit it, I was pretty good in math.

    It makes me think of that graphic image I get in emails sometimes where if the ballerina silohette turns one way it means you use one side of your brain more than the other and vice versa and that if she turns one way and then the other it means you use both sides fairly equally.

    Great blog today, Magdalena!

  5. Taryn,

    Thank you for stopping by--and thank you for not telling me what the eight intelligences are, even after you'd looked it up. I still have my head in the sand on that. It's nice and warm down there.

    I've seen the ballerina that shows which side of one's brain is dominant. I don't recall exactly, but it seems to me that she just kind of stalked away, muttering "brain? where?"

  6. Great Blog! I also need to do more with my time. All I do is read and write... but I love it so much! (LOL!)

    I really need to excercise...


  7. I think it's important to exercise our brains, particularly the parts we don't use all the time. This summer, while my husband spend every waking moment building our new house, I was home (I'm a teacher, so my summer's are free) with one or more kids. Frequently, when hubby happened to be home, he'd catch me playing scrabble or some other word or trivia game online. He said once, "Why are you ALWAYS doing that?" I said, "Because while you're gone all day, I change diapers and watch Disney Channel. I've got to do something that requires my brain to WORK." Great blog, Magdalena!

  8. Tia,

    Count me among those who are glad you spend your time writing and reading! I do manage to get out once a day for a two mile walk. I would recommend that. You can always think about writing and reading while you walk! ;)


    How I miss children's television programming. Only kidding a little bit there. My kid is 18, so I no longer watch Sesame Street or Mr. Rogers--I know he died, but he was one of our faves. Not to mention Thomas the Tank Engine. I was a stay-at-home mom for his first five years, so my brain probably atrophied extensively during that time. Thanks for the reminder.

    Hm...maybe I should try playing online Scrabble while knitting and doing simple addition in my head?

  9. As I watch my mother(someone who has several master degrees & ran college campuses) struggle to count the plates at the holiday table, I am once again reminded not to take my brain for granted. I miss the smart, witty women she was and struggle to be patient with the woman she is. I vow to work my brain harder and challenge myself more, both physically and mentally in 2009. Happy New Year - May your brains all by strong and vibrant.

  10. Garden Girl,

    Blessings on you and your mother.

    Your heartfelt comment brings me full circle on this topic. Although I laughed a LOT about the Wicked Witch of Doctorville, I know my episode is not entirely funny. I do need to cross-train my brain, because it's a good idea, and because genetically I may be headed down the path your mother is on.

    So today--not just because it's January 1--I am beginning work on that project. I'd be glad to know how your efforts are progressing, too.

    I know reinvention will be even better if we have friends along for the journey.