The right side of my brain (the creative side) is full of spinning wheels, sparkles, audio and video stimulation and fast-moving light shifts. The left side of my brain (the analytical side) is a vast wasteland. It is like stepping into an empty auditorium at midnight. Without seats. Drafty. Full of cobwebs. When it comes to math, I have the IQ of a pretzel (my apologies for insulting the pretzel community). In high school, Miss Delp generously gave me a “D” in algebra because I constantly showed up for help after school (“duhhh how much is two and three again?”). My brain today remains pretty much the same as it did when I was in high school though on most days counting to 20 doesn’t require removal of my socks and shoes. I see that as a “major improvement.”
I was introduced to Sudoku by my brother-in-law who can whiz through the highest level, 30 row mind-benders in minutes. With his eyes closed. I tried a Sudoku puzzle with all the numbers filled in except one. And got it wrong. I’ve been continually challenged by level one Sudoku. That is – until about a year ago when I was determined to “get it right.” And I did. Probably took me a week to correctly finish a level 1 puzzle. These days, I will work the level 1 Sudoku in the Chicago Tribune while I ride the train in the morning. And if I get it right — I do a silent fist pump (“Yeahhhhhhh”). Every once in awhile, I will succeed on a level 2 (cue the “Hallelujah” chorus). And once – a miraculous level 3. . . .
I like to think that doing Sudoku is keeping the grey matter from shriveling. And it’s starting to fill that empty auditorium with folding chairs. And the vague hum of activity.