Memory, Learning, Stress, & Hypnosis
From my review of the books in the Saskatoon Public Library on the topic of Memory, I recommend this one to every Parent, Instructor, Trainer, Teacher, and Child:
Learn to Remember: Practical Techniques and Exercises to Improve Your Memory
by Dominic O’Brien (Chronicle Books, 2000)
…in 1988, I was to witness an event that would change my life. I watched a man called Creighton Carvello memorize a randomly shuffled deck of playing cards in just under three minutes – a feat of memory which put his name in the record books. I was dumbstruck. How could anyone connect 52 unconnected pieces of data together, perfectly in sequence, using nothing but their brain, in such a short space of time? Inspired and fuelled by a burning desire to uncover Creighton’s secret, I armed myself with a deck of cards and began a three-month investigation into the potential of my own memory. What followed was an object lesson in accelerated learning. A process of natural selection took place as I threw out ideas that failed and refined techniques that produced results. As each day passed I felt as though I was awakening a giant within me. For the first time in my life, not just my memory, but also my powers of concentration and imagination, were beginning to reveal a potential that I never before realized they had. Unwittingly, I was discovering the art of memory and memory techniques practiced by the ancient Greeks more than two thousand years ago.
After three months of memory training I felt that I had been given a new brain. Soon after, I was entering the record books myself by memorizing not one, but six randomly shuffled decks of playing cards from a single sighting of each card. While I was amazed and impressed by my own brain’s capacity, I felt at the same time immensely bitter that I had never been taught these same levels of mental agility when I was a student struggling with examinations.
As a child, I was diagnosed as dyslexic. In addition, I was described as having an inability to concentrate on and remember what my teachers were saying. As a result, I did not shine academically, and I left school at sixteen. What a shame that I was never shown the techniques described in this book. Even today, when we know comparatively so much more about the brain and the processes of learning, children are not taught how to learn effectively. Why? I have to confess that the answer to that question escapes me.
Note: Remembrance Day is on November 11. If you remember nothing else, remember this.