Archive | November 2012

Memory Loss

Do you know what grinds my gears? When… you… you know… when… umm… Oh yeah! When you have memory blocks and you can’t remember things. Most of you have probably heard the phrase, “If you don’t use it, you lose it”. That phrase is truer than you think, and it happens all the time, especially for students that haven’t studied something for a long time. Now I could go into a long scientific reason for why this happens, but you will probably end up forgetting it after a while. Instead, I will try to give you something to think about again.

I think remembering things have a lot to do with how you experienced hearing the fact or taking part in an event. For example, having an emotion tied to that memory will make it easier to remember. If you have ever won a sports game in the last few seconds, you probably remember that now, and you will probably remember it for almost the rest of your life. Memories with emotions are recalled easier than just a straight fact or idea.

Another example of this, which is more common, is remembering things that are interesting. I don’t know how many times in class I have forgotten things that bored me to death, while some of the interesting things seemed to stick with me. Part of the reason this happens is when you are listening to something interesting, you are fully attentive to the displayer of information (speaker, teacher, video, etc.). It’s almost as if you are learning it more fully. When you are not interested in something, your mind wants to wander. You may start to look at the clock or play with your pencil while you are listening. During that time, you start to miss words and other helpful details that don’t feel important at the time. No matter how hard you try, it will still be harder for you to remember something if you can’t find it interesting.

One other point of interest is photographic memory; some people have it and others don’t, and it all depends on how your brain works. I know a lot about photographic memory because I use it all the time. When I recall facts, I see the page of notes that I wrote on and I see the words exactly how I wrote them. Also, when I need to remember information from a text book, I associate facts relative to their position on the pages. Sometimes my mom will quiz me on stuff and ask me a question from my text book. If I don’t know the material well, I might say, “Well, I don’t know what the answer is, but I know it is on page 154 on the left side of the book in the bottom-right hand corner next to the picture.” And that’s just how my brain works.  This can be helpful at times, but not in all of them. For example, if I hear information instead of see it, it can be harder for me to remember. I don’t know this for sure, but I think I would have a horrible time remembering things that I learned in a pitch dark room. For other people, a pitch dark room would be great, but for me it couldn’t be harder.

I know I got a little sidetracked today, but maybe it’s not always good to write about things that make me mad. Either way, I hope you found it interesting!

Don’t grind my gears by… uh… whatever I said before!

Homework woes

Do you know what grinds my gears?  Things take longer than they need to. It seems like every night I do homework, I think to myself, “Oh, this should only take about half an hour,” or “I only need to spend ten minutes on this”. Then, for whatever reason, that thing takes almost twice as long and I’m up until midnight working on something I should have had done already. This is probably also hindered by procrastination. As much as I try to avoid it, I love to procrastinate. But pair that along with the fact that I always think that it won’t take as long to finish and you probably start to see why this happens.

Now I know that I usually blog about how other people bother me, but today’s blog is probably more like me getting mad at my self- inflicted wounds. It’s my own fault that I don’t get things done in a timely manner early on in the night, and I am quite aware of that. But then again, I don’t know many teenagers from my school (or any school for that matter) who don’t have the occasional love-hate relationship with the persuasive Mr. Procrastination. That doesn’t make it right, but I know that this is a tough concept for teenagers. I think part of the problem is that there are so many distractions out there for the youth of my generation. We have grown up with cell phones, the internet, color TV, videogames, and much more. For me, it seems almost too easy to put off homework to do one of those things.

Also, (and I don’t know how many times this has happened to me), I will say, “Ok, I have had a long day. I will spend 15 minutes on the computer and then I will attack my homework.” I go to sit down at the computer, and almost if by magic, one hour has disappeared like a TV remote. It becomes very frustrating at times, because sometimes I would rather jump off a bridge than do my homework. Of course I would never jump off a bridge, but I would do something extremely fun and inviting like play video games instead of doing my homework.

I know that homework is important to do, and we don’t go to school to just goof around; however, I sometimes feel that they pile a little too much homework on us on certain nights. I wish somehow that teachers could manage what nights they would each give homework, because on some nights I have virtually no homework, but on other nights I have six to eight hours. This is partly due to the fact that I have seven homework classes this year, but I still think something could be done about that.

No matter what happens, I can only stress about things that I can change and affect, and one of those things is not procrastinating and allowing ample time to get everything done.

Why do I cause my own gears to grind because I procrastinate?

Bad Drivers

Do you know what grinds my gears? Crazy, erratic drivers. Seriously! When you get behind the wheel, you are not just responsible for your life, but also all the other people who you meet on the road. Driving is not something to be taken lightly, and thousands of people die each year in car accidents. The freedom of driving is a privilege, and many people take it for granted. Whether you are late to work, you want to impress your friends, or you just like the intensity of it, there is no reason or excuse for driving recklessly.

 This is especially the case in high school parking lots. A lot of students tear out of the parking lots without looking for other cars or braking for others. I guess they just want to look cool by speeding, but it doesn’t impress me one bit. Just one little slip of the gas or the wheel and their car could become pretty close friends with a light pole. I know I joke around when I say that, but it’s still a serious matter. It is a very dumb reason to get severely injured or even killed by a driving accident that could be avoided.

But these types of accidents aren’t caused just by the youth of my generation. It is also common for adults to be in these situations as well. Every time you go into a decent size city around the lunch or break hours, you are sure to see some crazy drivers trying to get around cars and making a lot of close calls. I swear I am going to see them crash before they speed out of my sight, but they never seem to. The bad thing about that is when people drive recklessly over and over without any consequences, they are likely to keep doing it. Unless they get in a crash or get pulled over, they really don’t have any reasons to stop doing it. That doesn’t make it right, but not a lot can be done.

It’s one thing to drive erratically, but it’s another to drive drunk or text and drive. These things are both illegal and extremely wrong to do. Would you like it if you were following all the rules of driving and still get in a crash because somebody else was drunk or texting? Those kinds of things happen a lot too. It is so unfair that innocent people are killed because of people who don’t follow the rules.

I hope that if you don’t pay attention to any of my other blogs you will pay attention to this one. I can’t stand to hear news stories about car accidents because they can generally be avoided, and usually innocent people get injured. Hopefully, you will take this as a reminder to be safe on the roads.

Please don’t grind my gears by driving erratically!