Brain Damage

Submitted by Brother J himself, who tells the story about what happened to him.

I started working as a research assistant at a Neurology lab at UCSF, and one of the things I have to do is to administer this screening test to see if patients have MCI, or mild cognitive impairment, which is usually prevalent in older adults and it's a sign that the person's brain might be degenerating.  As part of the training, I myself had to undergo this test too to see how it is administered as well as administering it to another person.  Before taking the test, the post doc told me in a serious/joking tone that because I'm very young, I should be able to answer all the questions on the test, and if I have problem answering some of the easy questions on the test, I might have MCI.  I started laughing because I knew he was joking, but inside I was kind of nervous too because what if I do have brain problem?  My memory isn't that good!  So we began the test, and the first couple of questions were really easy, like what is your name?  What is today's date...etc, but when we got to what county we were in, I got kind of nervous because I didn't know which county San Francisco belongs to.  And then he asked me what season it is right now, and I wasn't sure if it was still winter or if it was spring already, so I said I think it might be still winter, but it might be spring too because it's spring semester at Berkeley, haha.  And I saw him staring at me kind of weird and concerned and wrote down something in his notebook, so I felt kind of embarrassed and nervous about what I had just said.  Then he asked me to spell the word "world" backwards.  I think because at that point I had lost all confidence in myself for not knowing the county of San Francisco and the season, I couldn't spell "world" backwards for like 30 seconds.  I kept saying "d-l-o," oh shoot, "w-o-r-l-d" so it's "d-l-r," oh no i forgot again...etc.  And during this process, he just kept staring at me with concern as if I had brain damage, so after that question I assured him that I don't have a brain problem, or at least I don't think so.


Anonymous said...


Jen Tse said...

Hahaha, I sympathize with the seasons but not knowing SF belongs to City & County of SF is pretty sad... This is a good example illustrating how being educated doesn't mean you're wise, you're only wise about your major. :-P

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