Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I can't remember!

I recently read a book on memorization. The book taught about making physical imaging and connections by association. In fact, the book became pretty elaborate in the usage of association. The basic concept teaches if you can remember one image and associate that image with a number, word, object, or phrase you want to remember. Instead of having to read the entire book I will explain the tool that helped me the most and was most effective. In short, my wife put together a list of 50 activities we can do one the weekends together and I was able to memorize the list in about 6 minutes, reading the items through only once, and being able to recite the list backwards and forward. No tricks to gimmicks just by using association.

Let me give you an example... Lets take a grocery list: bagels, cheese sticks, milk, pineapple, and Alfredo sauce. It is not a long list, but it is the principle being taught here. What you do is take the list, and read it through once and only once, and associate these items in your mind with something ridiculous. The more disproportionate and more silly the better. The only challenging thing here is to be creative.

Now read the below paragraph through once:
Lets take the first two items: Bagels and cheese sticks. Remember imagine the object and make it disproportionate and/or silly. Lets say the bagel can walk and talk while eating a cheese stick. I am sure you won't forget a walking talking, large round bagel gibber jabbering and eating a cheese stick, right? Now, lets take the cheese sticks and the milk. Think of stuffing a 100 cheese sticks into a milk carton, make sure you picture the cheese going in and stuffing the carton as full as you can and closing the lid. The more detailed the easier you will remember it. Now, lets take milk and pineapple. Now maybe imagine a giant milk carton dancing with a pineapple hat. If at all possible create an action, if you create an action and visualize the action in your head it will help. Maybe the milk carton is break dancing. Last two items, pineapple and Alfredo sauce. Imagine a pineapple swimming in your bedroom full of Alfredo sauce. Make sure you visualize it!

Now try remembering the list starting with bagels. Did you do it? Make a list of your own of 25 items or more take a few minutes to read the list through once and test yourself. As time goes on you will find yourself getting quicker and quicker.

I was able to use this method on my last final. It was great! I used it on "Symptoms in patients with pulmonary embolisms" Which are:

  • cough

  • Dysnea

  • Leg swelling

  • Leg pain

  • Hemoptysis

  • palpitation

  • wheezing

  • Angina-like pain

Again, be creative with imaging and associating. This is how I remember the symptoms of PE.

I imagined a giant standing it the clouds, the clouds irritating the giant so he coughs, he coughs so much he faints and falls to the ground. Next, I imagined and visualized a person standing looking down at their legs as they rapidly started to swell and bust out of their jeans as the person saw this they fainted. And so on and so forth.

I know it is kind of silly. I found this method useful in some ways but it definitely has it limitations. If anything next time you go to the grocery store you won't need to take a list!

1 comment:

Rick Frea said...

I read about that technique a few years ago and it worked well until I forgot about it.