November 13, 2008

Operating Without a Brain

It's probably painfully obvious to you readers, but my brain doesn't work anymore. Since I came here, I've noticed my mind wanders at the slightest provocation, often into reminiscence land. This is a bit of a problem during the daily listening schoolwork. Also of late, I ran a few games of D&D and noticed that my brain could not recall ongoing conditions of the game (for which the players were not happy). Also, my simple subtraction speed is down; maybe I need to get a hold of Brain Training DS again.

As for my job, I've noticed my odd tendency to write the end of a word's letters before they are supposed to come has only gotten worse. This is quite annoying, as I am constantly erasing what I wrote a second before while the students look at me and probably roll their eyes. Do we pay this guy? Oddly enough, this writing problem doesn't extend to when I am typing, but in any case I think it is related to my concentration problem. I am not living in the now when I write; I am living in the future of the words and sentences.

The only thing I do seem to remember is Japanese (perhaps my brain has shifted all of its priorities to language acquisition), but like I said, those listening tests are worrying me. I think my mind may wander during the actual JLPT.

I'm going to try to find some ginkgo biloba and see if that helps my concentration and memory. Also, I have to give meditation a more serious try. I do it occasionally on the train when I have nothing else to do, but I think I need to make a point to do it each morning. For that matter, I need to bite the bullet and wake up around and hour earlier than I have been. The world is never going to adjust to my circadian rhythms.

Speaking of the brain and sleep, I recently heard on the Sixty Second Science podcast that our brains shut down in stages, and neuron clusters give up when they have worked hard. This may explain why reading Japanese makes me so sleepy. It may also explain why I am so groggy in the mornings; only part of me is awake, and begrudgingly at that. This morning, I tried something to wake up. I started counting to wake up a few extra brain cells. Then I started singing to wake up another section. Oddly enough, I chose the The Sound of Music song.

You know, I can't remember what comes after "Tea, a drink with jam and bread..." But I did wake up.