Last week, I received the results of my last attempt at the soroban shodan level. And: I failed. Just like the four times before. I have put a lot of time and effort into this test, I even went to class again twice a week, so I am quite disappointed.

During the practice of the last few weeks it looked quite good that I could pass, but the added stress of the test was too much apparently. It seems as if I have reached a plateau now, not necessarily concerning raw ability, but concerning speed. It is probably best to get to the next level before I attempt the test again.

old style soroban at a fleamarketThat doesn’t mean I’ll give up – far from it! I still want that shodan level to crown my soroban career. But I will take a bit of a break now – maybe a month or two – before starting to practice again. So, it will probably take another year at least before I have levelled up enough to pass the test. But hey, I have the time – I’m not going anywhere (else). 😉

3 thoughts on “Hibernation”

  1. Good idea. Even athletes have to take breaks and often a good break suddenly helps you jump over that plateau. 🙂

    From what I have read so far, seems like you have to become the equivalent of a “speed reader”… Ever tried reading without ‘hearing’ yourself in your brain? It’s kind of like forcing the active part of the brain to switch off and trusting it knows what it’s doing. (Personally, I don’t like that feeling, but it does work.)

    Good luck and enjoy your break. 😀

    1. That “speed reading” link is interesting – I shall investigate.

      Part of becoming faster is indeed to automatise the fingers when moving the beads of the soroban. On the other hand, you’ll still have to be aware enough to read the numbers correctly. 😉

      1. You could also look into interpreting (especially simultaneous interpreting). They might have some interesting “brain tricks”. Be prepared to be completely drained and mentally exhausted, though. I only did a bit of liaison interpreting at university – it’s like a marathon for your brain. 🙂

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