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March 21st Holiday


I touched on my severe lack of memory skills just the other day when I wrote about never being able to remember people’s names. Today’s holiday specifically celebrates memory in all its glory. I thought about getting the Memory game to try to test Roman’s memory. I shot that idea down pretty quick when I remembered that Roman has about zero tolerance for any organized activity other than reading a book to him. He likes to throw things, eat things and generally just destroy whatever is in his path. I’ll wait a couple more months…or years…before trying a nice concentration game like Memory with him. Instead, I looked up some ways to improve my own memory. There are a lot of sites that address this topic. I found this cool chart of mnemonic devices that make remembering things easier on this website: http://www.helpguide.org/life/improving_memory.htm. Check it out, some of these are quite interesting:

Mnemonic device Technique Example
Visual image Associate a visual image with a word or name to help you remember them better. Positive, pleasant images that are vivid, colorful, and three-dimensional will be easier to remember. To remember the name Rosa Parks and what she’s known for, picture a woman sitting on a park bench surrounded by roses, waiting as her bus pulls up.
Acrostic (or sentence) Make up a sentence in which the first letter of each word is part of or represents the initial of what you want to remember. The sentence “Every good boy does fine” to memorize the lines of the treble clef, representing the notes E, G, B, D, and F.
Acronym An acronym is a word that is made up by taking the first letters of all the key words or ideas you need to remember and creating a new word out of them. The word “HOMES” to remember the names of the Great Lakes: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, and Superior.
Rhymes and alliteration Rhymes, alliteration (a repeating sound or syllable), and even jokes are a memorable way to remember more mundane facts and figures. The rhyme “Thirty days hath September, April, June, and November” to remember the months of the year with only 30 days in them.
 Chunking Chunking breaks a long list of numbers or other types of information into smaller, more manageable chunks. Remembering a 10-digit phone number by breaking it down into three sets of numbers: 555-867-5309 (as opposed to 5558675309).
Method of loci Imagine placing the items you want to remember along a route you know well or in specific locations in a familiar room or building. For a shopping list, imagine bananas in the entryway to your home, a puddle of milk in the middle of the sofa, eggs going up the stairs, and bread on your bed.

The method of loci is the weirdest one for me. I don’t really get it. I think I would have a hard time remembering what strange object I imaginarily put where and it would just get really confusing. I can tell you one thing though, I cannot remember the last time it was 82 degrees in March. (I had a picture of my car temperature gauge, but it was not downloading for some reason…you will just have to imagine it!).

Total Cost to Celebrate: $0

Clip of the Day:

I saw this dude on 20/20, or one of those shows, the other day. He memorized pi to over 20,000 decimal places:


P.S. – This is also my way of reminding everyone that the PI CHALLENGE is due by March 25th!!! Give your brains some exercise!