Memory Month Day 21: Last Day of Painting in My Head

Yes, I do realize that the title makes me sound slightly crazy, but I’m rather fond of it 🙂

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Because, as the title so eloquently points out, today is the last day of visualizing, I wanted to come back to the poem I memorized on day 18. Again, if you haven’t read it, make sure to click  here.

What I omitted to tell you in my 19 day entry was that right after I woke up, I tried reciting the poem, in both its English version, and in its Romanian one. What I realized trying to do this, confirmed what I was expecting and surprised me…at the same time.

As I was trying to recite the Romanian version, I realized I had great difficulties. I could tell you the general picture of the poem, but when it came to repeating its every word, I couldn’t, for the most part at least. However, as I went back to the English version, I recited it almost effortlessly (though I did have to skip two lines!). This was a confirmation of my expectations, because when I was trying to memorize the English version, I used the visualizing method. Of course this method would yield better results than simply trying to shove a bunch of words in my head. I mean, sure, the words are parts of sentences that make sense, and there’s also the rhyming that helps out, but still….It doesn’t compare to the power of creating a mental picture of each line.

So then, why was I surprised as well? You see, as I mentioned in my post for day 18, this poem is written by Mihai Eminescu. This guy is considered Romania’s best poet, which means that I have read this poem before. Perhaps several times, even…Especially since this poem is quite popular (he does have some that are much more popular than this one, but still). And yet, I was unable to recall it as well as the English version, which was new to me.

Now, you might be thinking that I conducted my “research” in a manner that’s not very scientific, because I didn’t control for all the other possible explanations. I completely agree. Actually, I could sit here and write all the other things that are wrong with this study, but that would take for ever. Plus, it’s not the point I’m trying to make. In fact, having conducted my little study in the way I did, gave me more support for this method of visualizing.

What I’m trying to say is this: if the method of visualizing was powerful enough to help me perform better at new material, than at material I had encountered before…well, it’s pretty great. I think so far, I’ll have to nominate it to receive the title of my favorite mnemonic device.

I truly wish I could go back in time and teach middle school me this method! It would have made my life 1000 times easier (at least from the perspective of poem-memorizing). Maybe I would still be able to recite some of them now…

 

  • Confused about what’s going on? Click here!
  • For the post that started this challenge, click here.
  • For yesterday’s entry, click here.

 

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