Step right up! Get your brain weaknesses here!

While reading this thread, it occurred to me that most of my goofy moments of idiocy can be traced back to my lack of spatial understanding.

Travel with me for a moment back, oh, 22 or so years. I was about 10 and taking my first I.Q. test. I was a bit nervous, but still anxious to get started. And … we’re off! Language. Logic. Math. Bam, bam, bam – no problem. I was in my element. Then came the blocks. The tester whipped out these red and white blocks with shapes on them. Some were completely red, some were completely white, and some were both red and white, and I was supposed to recreate the abstract shape on the paper in front of me. Okay … I got to work. Finally, after what felt like hours, I had – nothing. I NEVER got it.

To this day, I have difficulty with spatial concepts. I am just now beginning to be able to judge which plastic container best fits the leftovers. I don’t like to parallel park unless I’ve got two car lengths with which to work. Hi, OpalCat.

So, what aspect of your intelligence (or whatever you want to call it) is retarded (as in delayed or hindered)?

My sense of direction. I can get lost in a paper bag. I’m fine with spatial concepts and what not, I’m fairly intelligent, but I can’t cope with directions at all.

Short-term memory… I can still remember the Scout Law from 20 several years ago A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent… but I can’t remember at which point I left my work at 5:00 last night. I can barely remember which project I was working on…

I’m aces with that spatial stuff, tho.

Spatially challenged here too, though I’m not sure it’s the same kind. Recently bought an air conditioner and the salesperson was telling me it could cool about so many square feet. Seeing the blank look on my face, she tried again: it can cool about so-much by so-much. Alright, an average bedroom. Got that. I guess that’s math or geometry challenged.

Also, it always takes me a few seconds to remember which is left and which is right. If I’m driving and someone tells me to turn left, I have to ask: “My side or yours?”. The only way to make the determination by myself is to picture myself playing hockey or golf. Stick is on the left.

My word access capabilities are buggy. Ever so often I will need a word and not be able to think what the word is. This isn’t just for difficult words, but can be anything like ‘Document’ or ‘rollercoaster’ or ‘dictionary’. I then end up having to discribe the thing I am trying to name until someone gets the idea or tells me the word I am missing.
I have a theory that this may be a similar thing to stuttering, except that I don’t start the word and then have difficulty completing it, I susspect this because I often have a good idea of what the first letter or two of the word I am trying to remember is.

I have the same problem as Bippy. I have been known to say “that color that means go” when talking about the color green. At least once a day I will have a total brain fart regarding some word I just can’t access at that moment. Then half the day later I will just blurt out the word and be so proud of myself. I am silly in case I hadn’t mentioned.

The rationale behind Change Management and other like minded concepts just seems ridiculous to me but I suspect I’m the one being the dummy there.

I have absolutely no concept of accounting or money management. I didn’t read my bank statements until I had $6000 stolen from me over the course of 6 months. I was unemployeed at the time.

It is also very difficult to visually separate trash from what’s “supposed” to be there. I have to take several passes at say, a counter before I’ve collected all the bottle caps and scrap paper.

The rationale behind Change Management and other like minded concepts just seems ridiculous to me but I suspect I’m the one being the dummy there.

I am terrible with remembering people’s names. I’m good at remembering numbers, though, so if we all knew each other by, say, our social security numbers, I’d be a lot better off.

I think I am dyslexic with numbers, but not letters—is this even possible?

I’ve never had any kind of dyslexia problem with reading or writing: but when I write out a phone number, ZIP code, etc., I will invariably reverse numbers unless I slowly say it out loud as I write.

Eve, an old friend of mine seems to have the same problem. She’s always been extremely good at reading and writing, and understood science concepts, but was horrid at math and physics. She understood “word problems” in math but when it came to translating those to number problems, she’d do terribly. Then she was in a music lesson and her instructor had her start from the top of, say, page 12. She started singing and was at the wrong spot - top of page 21. She laughed it off as her scatterbrained self, but he stopped her and said he’d seen her do similar things often enough that he thought she was having trouble keeping numbers straight. She said it seemed to make a lot of sense to her in retrospect, once someone finally confronted her about it rather than her being able to just pass off incidents as simply meaning “I’m bad at math” or “I’m a ditz sometimes.”

Calculus. I cannot learn calculus. I have taken 5 (!!) calculus courses, and everytime I try again, I have to learn everything over again. I have no problem with math in general, as long as it doesn’t involve caculus.

I can’t remember street names, I tend to look blank if people are giving me directions. My directions consists of noteable trees, shops and funny looking buildings.

My aural memory is pretty rotten too. I have a hard time remembering conversations.

I have no problem remembering people: who they are, what they look like, their jobs, their quirks.

But as me to remember a name, and I’m lost. I can be introduced to someone and a minute later have to ask their name again. This will invariably happen five or six times before I force myself to think of a mnemonic for the name.

It happens with celebrity names, too… I’m constantly referring to celebrities as “that guy that played so-and-so in that whatsit movie.”

And phone numbers. Even for loved ones, I need to have them written down, even if I’ve been dialing them for years.

That and, like squirrel, I have a poor memory for conversations. Not the subject or conclusion or the general information conveyed, but the specific words used. I can say “your mom called and said she wants us to meet at Smitty’s at 7.” But if my future wife asks “did Mom say meet her inside or meet us in front?” and I didn’t specifically pay attention to the distinction of inside vs outside, I won’t be able to recall what was said. Won’t happen. and I’ve learnt not to try to recall it, either.

But I have an uncanny ability to solve spatial puzzles, keep track of my bank balances to the nearest dime, and recognize police cars at a distance of more than half a mile.

My fiancee, on the other hand, only needs introductions once to remember someone’s name, and similarly, can remember a phone number after looking at it only once.

Her: “Let’s go to Damon’s” (a local steak and mai tai restaurant)
Me: “OK, I’ll make reservations.” [start pressing 4 and 1 and…]
Her: “Oh the number is” [rattles off 10 digits starting with 818]
Me: [boggle]

In fact, I have difficulty remembering the number given by 411 long enough to dial the darn thing myself.

I, too, have difficulties remembering simple words. With my large vocabulary I can often substitute an equivalent word, but one which most the people hearing me won’t understand, thus making me look pretentious when really I was doing my best. Even so, I often have to use circumlocutions as described above.

This may explain why Middle-Earth hold appeal for me as I usually have 3 or 4 chances to remember a name :slight_smile:

I have lived in this house for eighteen years but I do not know what direction it faces.

Directions have no meaning for me when I really don’t perceive depth very well and there is not so much a north and south – just a vague sense of around.. Don’t you also live under sort of a silver shiney bowl?

I’m going to Paris in April and I’m carrying a compass that is in a case. The case says “This Side Up” on one side and “You Are Here” on the other. That should help. But if I’m not back my May, notify the authorities in Burgundy.

I have a good general sense of direction, but I can’t remember street names. If someone asks for directions, I wish I could just say “Go until you get to the…uh…place with the tree…turn right…there will be some hills…” and have them understand me. I guess the fact that I don’t drive doesn’t help this any. I’m still not sure which county I live in, and which freeway exit to get off of to get to my house, or what the name of the freeway is.

skeptic_ev, Shepherdless
Curiously, are the three