May 24, 2022 By Floyd Gripman

Brain Work

Sally signed me up for Brain Class 2.0. I’m not sure why but I agreed and went to the first class. Surprise! This class dispenses with the part I call teaching and immediately advances to testing. Somewhat flummoxed I proceeded to what I later learned would be just the first of numerous tests.

First test – a word search. You know, like you find in the newspaper. Since I do the one in the Daily Republic pretty regularly, this will be a “no brainer.” We are given a nice fat list of 25 words to find in the grid. One small tweak – there’s a time limit of three minutes. That shouldn’t be a problem for someone with my experience. Oops! My first time through – SIX words! Wait a minute! Let’s try another strategy. Pick the first letter of a search word. Search through the grid until you find that letter and search each direction from that letter until you find the word. With this strategy I was able to find TWO words. This obviously was not a reasonable list of words.

Not sure this is necessary — test number two! Yes, without warning, and zero instruction we were instructed to move on to another test. This was to identify 15 acronyms used in text messaging. You know, like FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions. Now is that a reasonable test? What senior understands GenZers? I got two right.

But wait — there’s more! The next test was to learn to juggle. That’s right, juggle. As in throw three balls into the air, catch them and throw them up again. The instructions allege that this activity not only stimulates mental health, but this is good for physical health. Finally, I found a test where I could experience significant success. Throwing the balls into the air and then picking them up off of the floor was perhaps the best workout I have had recently.

Well, this has been a very surprising class. But the greatest surprise came when it was time to go to the second class. I was anxious to go. And every member of the class returned. Humiliation can be very enlightening and even fun.


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