Saturday, February 19, 2005

Let's Work on That Memorization

Howdy Pards,
Today I want to talk about memorization and memorization techniques in regards to the assignment in which we have to memorize 100 book titles in order. I have talked to quite a few people about this assignment, and some seem about as frustrated as a harelip in a steakhouse trying to order Worcestershire sauce. I'll admit, to an untrained mind it seems like a hard task. I on the other hand am not very worried. You see, I have gone to private schools from pre-first to 12th grade. Memorization has seemed to be one of the main subjects taught in these institutions. I remember from the very start having to memorize Bible verses and books of the Bible in order. In first grade I could have recited the old and new testament books in order. In second grade I could have recited all the ten commandments in perfect NIV wording. For those that don't know, that is a big section of memory for a second grader. What I'm really trying to get at though is that memory is something that has to be taught. You can in fact train yourself to memorize. I never worried about the book assignment because I know I can have it done very easily. In fact, I didn't even start the assignment till right before it was due.
I found it interesting in Yates book that some people refuted the memory system. They said that they need not create one because they had trained their mind to memorize great quantities. I kind of agree with this. If you can memorize well already, why create a world or images that only require the use of more memory? Does anyone agree with me here. While I have found that certain techniques work, I just don't see why everyone would have to envisage a whole new world to help with memory.
Here are some techniques I have found that help me with memorizing. Order is important. Take the MSU list and divide it into sections of ten. Just concentrate on one section at a time. Once you memorize that section, move to the next, but be sure that as you are memorizing it to go back to the previous section. You'll be amazed at how fast you can learn. By repetition, you are imprinting the books on your mind.
I have also found that associating faces with names works very well. As you are memorizing, have a friend read you the next three books you need to know. Do it again with another friend. You will associate the indicated book with that friend. You will also have ten books memorized very quickly.
I am very interested to hear how others memorize. Please get back to me if you have the answers. I would also like to know others comments on the memory palace. Is it something great, or just more dang work?

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