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!