Saturday, December 26, 2009

My Brain

I want to talk about my brain. Okay? There's stuff I want to make clear, and stuff I want to get off my chest.

The other day, Tim and I got into a little argument. He told me about some woman on Fox News who acts dumb. Then John Stewart revealed, on his show, that she's a fake. Tim told me she plays dumb to make herself more likable to Fox viewers. In reality, she has a degree from an Ivy League school.

Tim described some of the stuff she says to viewers. She'll say she doesn't understand something. Then she goes and looks it up. Hearing this made me feel very uncomfortable because it reminded me of myself. I told Tim this. It sounds like me on my blog! I sometimes talk about my lack of intelligence. I often go to look things up. And guess what....Well, I didn't go to a fancy Ivy League School. But I do have a graduate school degree. I'm heavily-educated.

We argued about it. My feeling is even if someone is heavily-educated, it doesn't mean they're going to know EVERYTHING. Everyone is ignorant in some areas. From what Tim was saying, I could admire this woman. I like people who can admit they don't know something. But Tim insists she's being fake. That's a difference story. I don't like people who are dishonest. If she knows stuff and pretends not to know....then I'm not at all impressed.

I know I sometimes mention my lack of intelligence on this blog. I'm not lying; nor am I playing with false modesty. There are some areas where I feel I'm slower than most other people. I think the main issue is with memory. I learn stuff, but then it seems to exit my brain. I think the only way to get something to stick is for me to learn the same thing repeatedly. I have done a TON of research for this blog. I have learned so many new things. Unfortunately, not that much has stuck to my brain. I look at the names of people I researched a while back. Sometimes I remember very little about them. If I do remember stuff, it's usually become I had encountered the information multiple times.

This morning, Tim made a joke about my short term memory. I'm constantly losing things. My catch phrase in the family is, Have you seen my book? This morning I put down the laundry basket, and less then a minute later....I asked Tim where it was.

With my blog posts, I get very frustrated with my memory. What happens is I spend the morning writing about someone. It usually takes me 2-3 hours to do a post. Then several hours later, I'll ask myself who I wrote about. Lately, I sometimes can't remember! How sad is that? I have to really think hard before I can remember it. My excuse, though, is this. I'm usually dealing with three people a day. I have the person I'm researching. Then everyday, I proofread a post I wrote a few days ago. Then there's the entry I'm actually posting that day, and people are commenting about him or her.

This past year or so, I've REALLY been exercising my brain....probably more so then I ever did at school. I'm hoping all this exercise will IMPROVE my brain, and not fry it somehow.

Anyway, back to my intelligence. I have my weaknesses, but I also have my strengths (AKA where I allow myself to brag).....

1. I'm very motivated to learn. I think that's important. I'd personally rather have that than a high IQ.

2. I read very fast. This is a huge gift to me. I can zip through a book, website, etc when I want to. Books that might take other people months to read will usually take me less than week.

3. I write very fast. This is the reason why I can write 10+ page blog entries in one day. I used to write novels and screenplays within 2-4 weeks. I do sometimes take over an hour to write an email, but that's because I keep changing my mind about telling someone something. I write...delete....write...delete...write.....well, you get the picture.

4. I have a VERY active imagination. I think my dreams alone can prove this.

5. I have a fairly good long-term memory. I think this happens more with personal stuff. I'm good at remembering stuff from the past. Sometimes. I'm extremely impressed with my Australian trip reports....that I remembered all those details weeks after it all happened.

As for my weaknesses besides memory....

I feel sometimes I have a hard time comprehending things. I often have to read things multiple times in order to understand stuff. And sometimes I STILL don't understand it. I sometimes don't understand what you guys are trying to tell me in comments. I usually say this. I hope you don't think I'm being rude. I kind of prefer honesty to fake politeness.

I'm also pretty awful at spelling...although the Firefox spell checker helps me hide this.

Anyway, I know I'm not special in any of this. I think we ALL have our strengths and weaknesses. I just didn't want any of you to think I was like this woman on Fox. I'm not trying to pretend to be someone that I'm not.

P.S-I'm also being completely honest when I say I wrote this post DAYS before Anonymous offered his/her criticism on my David Bland post. I guess it was just a matter of perfect timing. It was almost like his/her comment was a trailer for this post.


  1. That was a wonderful Blog Dina.. the best I have seen on this blog of yours ... Now what would please you? Calling you Dumb or smart ass? LOL...
    You know many people are going to nod yes yes when they read this.. it happens to most of the people I know.
    Love and hugs

  2. Farila,

    Thank you ; )

    Maybe I'm a smart/dumb hybrid.

    I like how you imagine people nodding yes yes. I've been picturing people rolling their eyes and thinking "What a freak". Well maybe it will be a little bit of both.

  3. I'm so jealous. Your brain works much faster than mine.
    No worries, though, I have my Intuition! (which sometimes slows me down even more ...) =D

    My dad reads things quickly, too. I have to read things over and over to follow anything at all.

  4. That was kind of a compliment made on the David Brand post. It is only one small thing he or she does not like. I don't mind what he pointed out. It makes your writing seem a bit more conversational.

    I am astonished at how experts can be interviewed about a subject and know everything there is to know. Even things I know a lot about, which is very little, my total knowledge of the matter is small. Many things I just don't remember. I blame having a busy brain, rather than a good brain. I think about too many things at once, and so never concentrate enough on one thing. I am thinking about at least two other things as a write this and with half an eye on the tv. I don't know if it is a good thing, but I do know a little about an awful lot of things.

    As for the beginning of your post, it never hurts to be a bit smarter than what people think you are. The analogy I will use is a playing cards one. When people lay down what they think are their winning cards, it is marvellous to throw down trumps.

  5. Hi Dina it has been a while since I have been over here. I had unsubscribed from your feed because you didn't offer full feeds and I did like to read you in my reader.
    I hope you don't take offense at that. All the best x Kim

  6. HappyOrganist: Sometimes I think I have really good intuition. I don't know. My problem is I constantly second guess myself. Maybe I have good intuition, but it gets muted by my fears and self-esteem issues.

    I think you're like me with having to read things over and over. A lot of stuff I can understand on the first try. With the more difficult stuff, I have to read it repeatedly.

    Andrew: I can see what you mean about playing cards. I do think there's a difference between keeping quiet (not throwing down your cards) and lying. On this blog, I'm open about what I know and don't know. I doubt I keep any of my cards hidden.

    In real life, I don't think I would SAY something to mislead someone into thinking I'm ignorant about a subject. But it's likely there are times I simply keep quiet.

    Interesting that you perceived the David Bland comment as a compliment. I've been thinking about it a lot. I'm usually pretty sensitive, and negative comments might put me in a sour mood for awhile. The David Bland comment didn't bother me at all. I realized it's because he didn't say anything that's not true. I do look things up a lot, and I am very enthusiastic at times. I think of those things as positive. So it WAS kind of like a compliment.

    I think I'm much more insulted by criticism when I feel I'm accused of something I didn't do...or when someone describes me in a way that I feel is not true.

    Frogpondsrock: Hi! No, I'm not offended. There were reasons I changed things (which I won't go into), but I'm sorry it resulted in losing you as a reader. I'd probably be okay changing it back by now, if that would help.

  7. Yes please Dina, Full feeds would be lovely.

  8. We're a lot alike we like to know, we're curious with minds like sponges only absorbing what's relevant or required. You research and research but don't hold it in as there's only a certaiun amount of space up there. Like why on earth do you need to know where the washing basket is? Why on earth do you need to hold certain trivia when there's something much more fascinating round the corner? There's nothing wrong with you in any shape or form.
    That technique you describe according to my girls is "dumbing down"! My girls say I do it too often but sometimes it's a good way of finding out stuff especially from people who like to think they're superior so they divulge more information to someone who they consider, is of a lesser intelligence!
    I had a mate once who could recite trivia like the winner of every Melbourne Cup since inception ... but didn't have a clue how many ounces were in a pound or how many pound make a stone or how many stone ... Ohhh you get my drift Darling! xo

  9. Redness,

    I'm thinking the information is probably all there somewhere in my brain. I just can't easily retrieve it. There's too much going on!!

    As for "dumbing down", I think it's most tempting when someone is self-centered and/or conceited. There's those people who go on and on about all that they know, without stopping to consider what you might know. I'm trying to think of an example from my life, but I can't think of any right now.

    There's those people who talk on and on, without letting the other people get a word in edgewise. It's tempting to keep quiet (since they'll barely let you talk anyway) and then shock them in the end by revealing you know more than they'd imagine.