Events of July 7
1940 Sunday - Richard Starkey ( Ringo Starr) born
1987 Tuesday - Oliver North begins testimony at Iran - Contra hearings.
2005 Thursday Four bombs explode in London Underground.
One of the keys to having a good memory is linking bits of information together. In many ways we do this naturally from the time we are small children. Suppose a five year old boy visits his aunt every two or three months, and one time when he goes he plays with a plastic football. Two or three months go by and the next time they go to his grandparents he immediately searches for the football. One time I was visiting a friend and his daughter had a little boy over. I was playing hide and seek with them and spinning them around on the floor. Although I visited this friend frequently it was almost a year before the boy was there when I was there. Although he was only five, and had been four the last time. He immediately came up to me and asked if I would spin him around on the floor.
As we get older, we continue to associate sights, sounds, feelings, scents, and tastes with different situations. Maybe you hear a song on a first date and that song always reminds you of that date. Or you go to your high school reunion, which includes a walk through your old school. Memories immediately flood your mind when you see your old homeroom, the gym, and the scent of the building.
Okay , so we all do this. What does it have to do with memory? You can consciously learn to link disparate facts in your head so they are no longer disparate to you. Then the thought of one triggers the thought of the other. For example, there is no obvious connection between the Beatles Ringo Starr, the Iran Contra hearings and Oliver North, and the explosions in the London underground. But suppose you imagine that there is a mistake in the sale of the weapons to Iran and they went north to London and packed by Oliver from the Dickens novel.They were transported by train and divided among four trains. They exploded on the train because they were loosely packed by star shaped rings. If you imagine this scene the pictures will trigger scenes of Oliver North, Ringo Starr and you will connect them with your image of an underground train explosion (elaborative rehearsal). Then as you imagine the scenes say July 7 in your head ( rote rehearsal) and you will remember that these scenes were on July 7.
Some of you might be thinking that creating these pictures is a little strange. Two things, first you do not have to tell anyone who you think might think it is strange, and second, it simply works. If you have followed this blog from the first ( and I would recommend doing it in sequence). you have already used the imagining combined with simple counting by sevens to memorize an entire year of the calendar. You are well on your way!
Tomorrow we will review everything we have learned! Hopefully you are getting confident that you have a better memory than you thought you did when you started. If now, next week you will learn how to build your confidence!