Memory Month Day 27: Putting it All Together

Via pixabay
Via pixabay

This entire month has been quite an interesting month, memory wise. Getting to use those 4 different memory retention techniques has really been a challenge at times, because it can be hard to find more than one way to use the same technique.

Nevertheless, I am glad I had the challenge, simply because it made the month of February that much more interesting, and that’s what I’m all about.

How has this year’s challenge been different from last year’s? For starters, the methods used this year were aimed more towards concepts than details. Indeed, last year I concentrated more on methods that help you remember simple things, such as phone numbers, and names of people you’ve just met. That is, with the exception of the memory palace, which was present in this year’s challenge as well, since it was just so fascinating.

That being said, I realized recently that the tests I took last year to see whether my memory improved might not be the best indication of an improvement from this year, since I was concentrating on a slightly different aspect. But hey! Memory is still memory, so I’ll take the tests again, but I’m not actually expecting an improvement. Just a fair warning.

/Larisa

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Memory Month Day 28: The Final Day

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Here it is, the last day of Memory Month. What can I say, it has been a very interesting adventure, and I am glad I had the chance to use these wonderful techniques for remembering things.

But let’s get to the results of my tests:

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Ok, so for numbers, I had the same result as at the beginning, which makes perfect sense because I didn’t really work with numbers this week (expect for one day in the beginning).

I didn’t really work with letters either, so the improvement might just be due to the fact that I am having a better memory day today than at the beginning of the month.

Finally, there’s a clear improvement when it comes to the word test. That’s because this month I worked a lot with coming up with stories, and this came in very handy for remembering words. I am quite happy with this result 😀

As I mentioned yesterday, perhaps these tests aren’t the best way of assessing memory, at least not the kind I’ve worked to improve this month, since they are more concerned with short term than long term memory. But then again, they are quite interesting to play around with, aren’t they?

/Larisa

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Memory Month Day 26: It’s All about the List

via pixabay
via pixabay

So, this week I had set on the mission of figuring out how I can make use of the memory palace to its fullest capacity. Indeed, it seemed to me like it was one of those mnemonics that is so complex and so amazing, that I should be using it more in my day to day life.

As I mentioned, I couldn’t figure out another use for it besides lists. And you know, there are only so many things in one’s life that come in the shape of lists. Grocery shopping is one of the things that heavily relies on that, sure. But what about beyond that? Isn’t it a shame that here I was, with a great mnemonic, but with nothing to show for it?

In trying to figure things out, this is what I figured: you can use the memory palace for so much more than grocery lists! The catch? You have to make the thing that you want to remember into a list, or something like it. Not always, but most of the time.

For instance, if you’re trying to remember the definition of the word, you should identify key words in the definition, and then place them in your memory palace in the order in which they appear in the definition. Same goes for nearly anything.

/Larisa

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Memory Month Day 25: Because One Palace Just Wasn’t Enough…

Via Wikipedia

A few days ago, I talked about the process of coming up with a memory palace, and I told you that after giving it some thought, I finally made my decision. Then, yesterday, I told you about the fact that I seemed to have forgotten to actually make my mental entrance into my memory palace, which meant that all the work I did of coming up with images that reminded me of the things I had to do was …well, for nothing. Yaaay!

Well, today I think I finally figured out how to solve this problem. You see, the key is in using the place where you’re currently living. That’s because if you plant images in your mind for certain locations in the house, when you go through those locations, you’re very likely to remember what it is you’re supposed to be doing. And guess what! This technique worked wonders for me this morning, despite being in a terrible rush to get to class.

But here’s the problem: what if you’ve just moved into a new place, and your memory palace is of the old place? Or what if you’re just simply more comfortable with a different place than the one in which you’re currently living? Well, my darling, I think the answer to that is that you can have 2 memory palaces: one for remembering concepts, and one for remembering actual lists or things you have to do.

/Larisa

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Memory Day 24: A Message from Captain Obvious

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As you’re probably already aware, the memory palace works on a pretty simple principle: if you want to remember something, you have to create images in your mind that remind you of that object or concept, and place them in your memory palace. The more funny, outrageous and just overall creative the images, the better, because it means that you’ll just be that much more likely to remember.

Of course, this only works if you actually step into your memory palace in the first place. It doesn’t matter how great and vivid the images are, if don’t even get to walk in the mental space that holds them.

That’s what happened to me today; I forgot to enter my memory palace in the first place, which means that I didn’t remember that there even was a list for me to remember.

Here’s what happened: I decided to start with a little exercise, and gave myself a list to remember. You know, just to get myself warmed up. I wrote the list down, so I could check it back later, and I tried to come up with some images to plant in my memory palace. I was supposed to check back a few hours later to see how well I could remember them, and guess what! I completely forgot to do it! It wasn’t until later when I actually saw the written-down list that I remembered about my little task.

Well, what can I say…that didn’t quite go as planned. I’ll try again tomorrow, and see if I have better results.

At least I learnt something! For the memory palace to work, you actually have to use it.

That’s about it from me today! Now I’ll go dress as Captain Obvious and save the day some more 😀

/Larisa

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Memory Month Day 23: Troubles Building the Palace

Via wikipedia

Did you ever have to build a palace? No? Ok, me neither.

I do, however, have to build a sort of palace in my mind, so that I can use the method of loci, which is also known as the memory palace.

If you remember from last year, this palace doesn’t have to be a palace at all. It can simply be an apartment, a room, or even a tent. What the space is doesn’t matter as much as how well you know the space. Indeed, for this to work, you have to be very familiar to the place. Otherwise, you might run into the problem of forgetting what your space actually looks like, which means that whatever clues you’ve planted in your mind to help you remember whatever else, will be forgotten as well.

So, you see, I’ve been trying to choose my space very wisely, so that I won’t end up in that situation. Last year I didn’t have this problem: it was much easier for me to pick the space, and actually, I never ended up forgetting what it looked like. Admittedly, it would have been a bit ridiculous, since I lived in that apartment.

This time around, however, I want to make 100% sure that I know the space inside and out…actually, let me take that back, I only need to know it inside. But I bet you get the point.

The reason for this is because I feel like this is the only way in which I’ll be able to build on what I did last year.

So, finally, in the evening, I managed to decide on a space. I decided to use a part of an apartment, as opposed to the entire thing, or to just a room. I felt like this way, I would have an easier time laying out more complex concepts, while for the more simple ones, I could just use the entryway.

/Larisa

Memory Month Day 22: The Memory Palace

via Wikipedia

Today is the first day of me using the memory palace as a means of remembering things. This is the only method from all the ones used this month that I used the year before, and so I thought it would be a good idea for me to build on what I did last year.

If my memory serves me right, and man, do I hope it does, last year I mainly used the memory palace as a means of remembering lists. Grocery that needs to be bought is a great example. Indeed, by using this method, I would be compensating for what the previous ones failed at, because let’s admit it: using the method of relating things to myself wouldn’t be the best one to remember a list (though coming up with stories might be appropriate).

However, I will try to build on that this week, and so let’s hope that I’ll be able to come up with something! If not, there are always plenty of lists to remember,I suppose! 🙂

/Larisa

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