What The Doctor Ordered

Ever since my sister got “Doctor Kawashima’s Brain Training” for Christmas on her Nintendo DS, there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by while I’m at home that I miss out on my daily dose of “brain training”. It’s a fascinating idea that by doing loads of different puzzles each day your brain can improve its sharpness down to the “ideal” brain age of 20.

Now I don’t know whether having a sharp brain for answering simple calculations and other puzzles very quickly is good for everything else in life – the benefits may spread to other areas – but even if they don’t, it is fascinating to see yourself improve day by day on the puzzles themselves. The game plots graphs of your results, and there is no doubt that if you do them every day you improve. The sad thing about it in this house is that now all the record tables are filled with entries by me, as no one else seems to be able to come close to challenge my dominance. There is no real competition, apart from my cheating sister, who I have caught writing down the words for the “word memory” challenge.

But what’s also interesting is that some mornings, I’m just utterly useless at it, for no apparent reason. I normally do the training within an hour or so of getting out of bed, so that I can compare. But this morning, I have just achieved some of the worst scores I’ve done for a while. I can’t find any explanation for it. The only excuse might be that I’ve not yet had any breakfast. Perhaps my brain is still in bed. Maybe today is going to be an “off day”, and I have diagnosed it before it has even happened. I will make careful notes about what happens today to see if I’m proved right.

The other fascinating discovery is that if I do do the training at night, my results are generally much worse than if I’d done them in the morning. Most people do operate better when they’ve first woke up, but I have seen proof of this for myself on this game.

Anyway, it is hard to believe that I’ve now been home for more than a week, and this time next week I’ll be dreading going back to London. It’s just flown by – again. I’ve not exactly done that much apart from see the family, buy Easter eggs, spend money on some new clothes… hardly notable stuff. But it’s just been good to get away, relax and recharge my batteries ready for the final push. When I get back, I will have just six weeks left. I’m sure that will fly by as well.

Now, another thing that the Doctor ordered is some breakfast. There is still a glut of hot cross buns from yesterday, and though they are now out of date, I’m sure they’ll be fine after a good grilling. Combined with Weetabix and some orange juice, maybe that will finally wake me up…

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