I received an email from a group called Cherry Digital in Portland, Oregon, or what remains of the town after being firebombed to near obliteration by denizens of the Looney Left.
They tell me that Georgia adults (that includes you and me, although some readers would dispute my inclusion) are ranked 16th in the nation in correctly answering typical SAT questions.
The SAT is widely used in assessing students’ readiness for college admission in the United States. That is unless you are six-four, weigh 250 pounds and run a 4.6 forty. Then the SAT is pretty much irrelevant. Kind of like CNN.
According to Cherry Digital, the website I’m-a-Puzzle.com tested 5,000 adults around the country on their proficiency in math and EBRW (a fancy name for how well we read and write.) The concern was whether or not the pandemic has caused us to begin losing whatever brain power we may have had before being asked to mask-up and wash our hands.
“If you felt as if you were losing your mind during the pandemic, you’re not alone,” Cherry Digital observed in a news release. “What with being constantly bombarded by bad news, unable to go to work and having stimulating conversation with your colleagues, or, if you’re a parent, only having had toddlers or little kids to talk to all day, it might well have felt like your brain was deteriorating. And in fact, because people’s minds were so dormant over the whole period, it has given rise to a condition known as ‘pandemic brain.’”
Obviously, I’m-a-Puzzle.com successfully avoided “pandemic brain” because they thought up the idea of testing 5,000 adults about reading and writing and arithmetic. Neal Taparia from I’m-a-Puzzle.com says, “It’s great to see that, overall, most adults across the country haven’t got too much to worry about when it comes to their post-pandemic brain sharpness.”
An example of the questions posed in the SAT quiz was this one: “If x + 6=9, then 3x + 1 equals: (A) 6, (B) 10, (C) 4, or (D) 12.” And this: “What does ‘burgeon’ mean?: (A) To rapidly shrink, (B) to become tired, (C) to make, or (D) to rapidly expand.”
I have an addition question: Who cares? When you can once again attend a cocktail party and feel compelled to tell folks that you know what 3x + 1 equals, you are likely to find them burgeoning to avoid you like a bat out of Wuhan.
By the way, the answer to the math question is: (B) 10 and the EBRW answer is: (D) “to rapidly expand.” But since you are smarter than the know-it-alls in New York (25th) and the Socialist State of California (30th), I suspect you knew that already.
Cherry Digital says the best overall scores came from New Jersey and surmises that is because a lot of Princeton University alumni live there. Obviously, they don’t have anything better to do with their time than take quizzes. What else in there to do in New Jersey?
Arkansas finished at the bottom of the 50 states in both categories in the SAT test. Cherry Digital doesn’t say so but in my opinion it’s because a lot of Arkansas alumni live there that wear plastic pig hats to football games, wiggle their fingers and yell, “Woooooooooo, Pig! Sooie!” Even someone with pandemic brain could have figured that one out.
Georgia exceeded the national average of 55% in math with a score of 59% and had a 61% mark in EBRW which was the national average. Our overall mark of 60% was above the national average of 58%. Not quite National College Football Championship rankings but better than Joe Biden’s approval ratings.
I think it is only fair to say that our state’s respectable scores were due in part to the fact that I’m-a-Puzzle.com didn’t ask me to participate. I still count on my fingers and have yet to figure out “i before e, except after c, or whatever my neighbor weighs.” I could have single-handedly gotten us down into Arkansas territory.
I find the news reassuring that COVID-19 hasn’t turned us all into a bunch of brain-mushed zombies, but I am taking no chances. I will still mask-up when I feel it necessary. I will still wash my hands often and I will continue to try and maintain a little space between me and others. But I still refuse to eat broccoli. As I’m-a-Puzzle.com will tell you, I haven’t lost all my pandemic brain power yet.
• Dick Yarbrough is a four-time winner of the Best Humor Column by the Georgia Press Association. Reach him at email@example.com or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, Georgia 31139.