Learning to RememberA Story by Liliana
When I was a young girl, my grandmother helped me learn ways to memorize my school lessons.
When I was a young girl, my grandmother helped me learn ways to memorize my
school lessons. Memory was a large part of an European education.
Memorizing pages of poetry, Shakespeare, history lessons, multiplication
tables, Russian or English vocabulary " was all routine part of our
school day. I was always reading something out loud and trying to chisel
it deeply into my brain.
I would sit at our kitchen table, my grandmother across from me, and
read my lesson out loud. When I was finished, she would ask me to
summarize what I had just read. I would explain the plot to her in my
own words. On evenings prior to tests (oral or written) my grandma would
remind me to read my assignment before I went to bed. And then, as the
last step in this process, I would place the book under my pillow and
sleep on it. My grandmother said, and I earnestly believed it, that all
the knowledge from my book would flow into my head as I slept.
Frequently, I dreamed about Napoleon or the Russian revolution. And in
the morning, it was magical! I would really know the information, and
remember the minutest details of my lesson.
Recently I read that scientists have discovered that repetition,
reading out loud, summarizing the plot and consciously placing the
physical book under one’s pillow, all help in retaining long term
memory. The very act of believing that you will remember something,
helps your brain remember it. My baba knew what she was doing!
Through the long years of elementary school, high school, college and graduate school, I never varied my learning regimen. I studied for my lessons by concentrating, reading the information out loud, summarizing it to myself, and always, ALWAYS, sleeping with the book under my pillow. As the books got bigger and fatter, it was no easy task. But I believed in it so earnestly, that I was willing to suffer the consequences. A little pain in the neck was well worth the price.
© 2010 Liliana
AboutI try to approach every day with grace. I have many people I love and care about. But I also live in an unpredictable and fickle world. There is not much that I can control in life except my responses.. more..