My Hellish Challenge Begins

I have never been a fan of math.

Actually, let me rewind a little. In elementary school and middle school, I was fine with math. I never enjoyed it, but I also did perfectly well in all of my math classes. It was high school where my problems began. When I was in grades nine through twelve, my math homework regularly had me in tears. Combine a basic aversion to numbers with a lack of willingness to ask for help and you’ve got my math class experience. 

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

If you’ve ever heard of the theory of left brain vs. right brain dominance, you can probably come to the conclusion that I’m more of a right-brained thinker. According to the theory, different sides of the brain control different types of thinking, and furthermore, most people are dominated by one side of the brain. The right-brained thinker is creative and expressive, while the left-brained thinker is more logical and analytical. Although this theory has recently been debunked, I still think there’s validity to the concept that some people are creative-minded, while others are more logic-based – regardless of which part of their brain they use more.

I’ve decided it’s time to challenge myself and face my phobia of numbers and logic. I’m going to try things I thought I never would: Sudoku, logic puzzles, and more. I’ll also record my progress at Lumosity, the brain training website where I’ve created a free account. The exercises at Lumosity will theoretically help me improve my memory and logic skills.

First up, I tried my hand at a Sudoku puzzle at I attempted a puzzle on Easy and managed to solve it, after a couple errors, in 10 minutes and three seconds. Not bad, right? And – this is important – I didn’t totally hate doing it. This seems like a promising start.

Lumosity, on the other hand, seems like it will be more of a challenge. Some of the training exercises are easy and straightforward enough, but others – like solving math problems inside raindrops before they flood the screen – are harder, especially with all that added pressure. If I keep up with my training, I should see improvements in my memory, attention, and problem solving.

Click here for more information about left brain vs. right brain theory, and here for more information about the debunking of left brain vs. right brain theory.

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Janet Goertzen

Janet graduated from Bishop’s University with a Bachelor of Arts in English in 2010. She hopes to someday make a living from her words while continuing to avoid the terror of numbers. In her spare time, Janet can be found reading, playing trivia games, watching cat videos, or correcting people’s grammar on the internet.

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