Friday, November 2, 2007

I'm too young to be senile

OK, I don't know what's up with my brain lately, but it ain't right. Is this the onset of Absentminded Professoritis? Lately I've noticed the following symptoms:

  • I say or write completely wrong words that have nothing to do with what I'm saying, but sound like the words I want. For example, in an e-mail to a distinguished professor with a web site I use often in my classes, I wrote "add" for "had." In another, related, symptom, if a word has one or more words strongly associated with it because they're all related classifying terms, I'll say the wrong one. For example, when I want to say "strong verb" I'll sometimes say "weak verb" by mistake. [FYI, for my readers who don't know this and might be curious: in English, strong verbs are verbs like sing/sang/sung that form their past tense with an internal vowel change. Weak verbs are verbs that add -ed to form the past tense.]
  • Yesterday I nearly forgot a meeting I needed to attend. It was a meeting I had called because I'm the chair of the committee. I remembered with just enough time to get to the meeting.
  • A couple of weeks ago, I kept my class 10 minutes late because I thought we ended at 25 after the hour instead of 15 after. It's my other class that ends at 25 after.
  • Random songs I haven't heard in years pop into my head sometimes. This morning I woke up to that late '70s/early '80s song that goes something like this: "No matter where you are / I will always be with you / something something something / you, girl / ooh, girl / want you." Can someone please tell me what this song is?!!!! It's a guy singing, but he has a pretty high range. Harmony is involved in the bridge. Wah wah effects may be involved, too, though I can't remember the whole thing. It's driving me NUTS!
So what the hell's wrong with me?

9 comments:

tempestsarekind said...

The song sounds like "No Matter What," by Badfinger. The missing words are something like "Doesn't matter what you do, girl, ooh girl," etc. There's some knocking on old grey walls in there somewhere as well...

Back to lurking...

Another Damned Medievalist said...

It happens to me, too. It's kind of scary, and if I do start to lose my faculties, I hope somebody either gets my head fixed or puts me down.

Dr. Virago said...

Thank you, tempestsarekind! Yay! I finally know what the song is. And now I'm annoyed that freakin' Badfinger is in my head. Why on earth??? But knowing what it is may help banish it. And welcome to non-lurker status, even if temporary!

ADM - Good to know I'm not alone!

Karl Steel said...

Blame it on November. Your brain will return Dec 20.

I'll commiserate through tale-telling of my own lapses: a few Tuesdays ago, when I was particularly exhausted, I was teaching Gerald of Wales's History and Topography of Ireland. The students asked me, as they should have, about the horsefucking scene. In the middle of my answer, I found myself just about to make the, er, humping gesture (arms crooked, to the side, moving back and forth parallel to the flanks: I think you know it). I'm pretty sure I caught myself in time, but who knows? We'll see if it crops up on ratemyprofessor....Am I slipping already?

The Pastry Pirate said...

hey, do you remember (probably not, given your stresses!) a couple months ago when i made essentially the same complaint about my own cognitive skills and you talked me off the metaphorical ledge, reminding me about how the brain deals with "ooh-la-la, too many moving parts, eh?" as my darling LeChef says? You've just reached multi-tasking critical mass.

Oh, and I can top that... two days ago I cleaned the ice cream machine, poured ice cream mix in and started the machine, wondering what I had in my hand. Why, it was the paddle for the machine, which, when not in the machine, not only means the ice cream doesn't get churned... it leave a gaping hole straight through to the motor for the mix to run into! So what did I do? In a panic, with the machine running, I *opened* the door. Ice cream mix everywhere. I mean *everywhere*. I was finding it in my hair later in the day.

So if you're losing it, well, at least you're not alone. Kugs and Hisses....

What Now? said...

I have this weird aphasia thing where I substitute words in the same category. So if I mean "kitchen," I'll say "living room" or "bedroom" or the like. This means I occasionally order the wrong thing at restaurants (annoyingly, I now sometimes order burgers with the wrong kind of cheese because I mix up the words). It drives D. crazy because, especially when I'm tired, it becomes understandably difficult to communicate with me. Sigh.

See what you have to look forward to?

Dr. Virago said...

Karl, Pirate, and WN - Thanks for reminding me I'm not alone. When we're all in the old age home together, we can complain about "these kids today" not understanding the value of blogging communities! :)

And Pirate, wow, I'm glad it was just ice cream and not something boiling or otherwise harmful! You know what I think you should do after graduation? Sleep! For a month!

Profane said...

I had my latest bout of Partzeimers this weekend, when I first thought that I had managed to bring my cell phone charger to the conference in DC, but forget the cell phone. Turns out the cell phone had sat on the floor in the back seat of my car for the first two days of the conference. The GF recently finished giving me some well deserved abuse 8-).

Anniina said...

Similar symptoms (sans Badfinger) began to happen to me last spring, and I actually went so far as to tell my doctor, who sent me to a neurologist (!) who, after a cat scan, determined my brain was fine... I'm not so convinced. If my very cute, way-too-young doctor had said what he was obviously thinking (AGE-related), I might now be in jail for slapping Doogie on the Hauser :P