I’ve discovered something over the last couple of weeks. I suck at Scrabble. No, I mean I REALLY suck at Scrabble. I generally consider myself to be a fairly good writer, with a decent vocabulary, but when it comes to visualizing patterns of words from the mumble jumble of tiled letters… I have a lot of difficulty with that. I’m actually quite happy if I can manage to construct a 4 letter word, while my opponents are regularly forming words of 5, 6 or more letters in length. I suspect that the side of my brain that also makes it difficult for me to read a map, make any sense out of blue prints, or even guess with any accuracy the size of container to use for leftovers is probably to blame for my limited ability to see words within all those tiled letters.
Maybe it’s something that you can learn, but after nearly 38 years I’m prepared to admit that I’m probably a lost cause. My ex was always far better at packing than I ever was. My co-workers can glance at the building schematic and know instantly which fire alarm sensor is in trouble. More than once I’ve had to pour leftovers from one container into another because I had guessed wrong. And don’t even bother to ask me to assemble something from directions!
I can remember writing the “idiot test” for my job back in 2000. If I remember correctly, it was probably 200-250 questions covering a wide array of topics, with an insanely short amount of time to complete it. There were math problems, reading for comprehension questions, letter or word pattern questions, and then the dreaded “What shape would this box look like if it was unfolded?” questions, with one or more sides shaded, and then 4 possible answers. I skipped those. I didn’t even bother to attempt those because they would only slow me down, which was probably the best answer. Recognize your strengths and weaknesses, and move on accordingly. Oh, I got the job.
I’m painfully reminded of that weakness as I look at my current Scrabble record: 1 win, 7 losses. In most instances the losses aren’t even close. I’ve given up blaming the luck of the tiles. There is a consistent pattern forming… I’m good at many things…
Scrabble ain’t one of them!