4 Aug – Chunks of Memory

Which memory devices work best for you when trying to memorize chunks of information?

Well it’s been a long time since I’ve needed to remember chunks of info, and it doesn’t help having a memory like a sieve.

I remember when I was in my final year of high school and studying for exams, I used to make so many summaries from my textbooks in different colours to help me remember them, and then make summaries of my summaries in point form and then use those to test whether or not I’d actually remembered anything, so a lot of time I’d be in my room giving presentations to myself in my head.

I at least knew when I was getting a bit mentally fatigued and made sure I had adequate breaks. I’d still go to my dance classes and for some bizarre reason I went through a phase of washing up at dawn, going for a run (and I’m CERTAINLY NOT a runner!) then when I’d get back, I’d eat about 8 or 9 WeetBix and watch Hi-Five (an early morning kids show), then have a shower and get back into it.

When I finished year 12, I had almost two months off before I had to actually do my exams, which was awesome – some of my friends had all of their exams in the first week, but then I had all of mine in the very last week – they were all a day or so apart – except for one day where I had two 3hr exams on the one day. That was tough.

However, my memory was never trained for remembering anything important. Information that I actually needed ie, when studying for exams, was a complete waste of time because it just simply wouldn’t stick. I tried all different types of study methods, but nothing really worked efficiently enough. Maybe it was because I just didn’t really enjoy being at high school in general. I’m not really sure.

Dancing, however, well that was a completely different story.

Since I can remember, I have always had a ‘dancing brain’, meaning, that whilst I struggle to remember things like what I’ve learnt in a classroom, or people’s names, or what was on my shopping list, I have this knack for picking up choreography rather quickly. It’s almost photographic – I can be shown something maybe two or three times, and I’ll get it, and then I can dance it, whereas most people would need to do the same thing multiple times in order for them to start learning a routine. That’s just how my brain works. I don’t understand it, and I don’t question it. But it seems to be like that for anything ‘physical’, but predominantly dance.

As somebody who works in the fitness industry, and teaches dance programs, this type of memory makes life so much easier compared to others, because I can watch a DVD of choreography, and start picking it up as I watch it, and if I know any of the music quite well, then I associate nuances in the music with certain movement. Others are amazed at how I manage to do this, but I don’t really think anything of it, it’s second nature to me.

Now… what did I have to get from the supermarket again??

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