On making my first tenuous steps into the innocent world of Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training, I was alarmed to discover that I am pitifully stupid.
In one of the daily exercices, the charming Dr Kawashima quizzes you on simple arithmetic while you scribble the answers onto the screen of your DS. Your score is determined by how quickly you can make a given number of calculations, with mistakes penalised by time added.
It seems I have no grasp of what six times seven is without really thinking about it. Not, ‘Oh, right, it’s forty-two’, I mean a real Descartes-esque display of furrowed brow, worsened by the pressure of a ticking clock.
In my defence, I cannot easily recall an occassion when I’ve been required to calculate six times seven as a matter of temporal imperative, but it troubles me that there are single digit multiplications that push the limit of my numeric capabilities.
In another round, Dr Kawashima implores you to draw, from memory, a sketch of whatever he says. The software then examines your sketch for distinguishing features, such as pronounced ears in the case of a Koala.
I was called upon to sketch a Koala, a Kangaroo, and a map of Australia. It pains me to say this, but my picture of a Kangaroo was a more accurate depiction of a map of Australia than my map of Australia.
Dr Kawashima told me I was as thick as a tub of cement and that I should return to his brain training acadamy at the earliest opportunity. I place myself at his mercy.