How do people
memorize long parts in a play? The important dates in their lives? Rhymes, verses or scripture? A face? I can recall the lyrics of songs, but I’ve heard them a million times. The rhythm and beat of the song enables the memory of it. Sometimes I see something and it goes right to that part of the brain that locks it up for recall. But when I try to access that place manually, it’s gone. I used to think if I couldn’t memorize it, it wasn’t that important to me. That’s no longer the case. One time I attempted to memorize scripture by creating flash cards. Every day I would write the daily verse down, then, over the course of the day I would go through the flash cards putting location to the verse. It was a struggle I never got to the other side of. Learning scripture and it’s locations was important to me. It was becoming more and more frequent that I would carry on a conversation with someone, scripture would come up but I could not tell them where it was. I know the scripture, I just can’t point to where it is in the Bible. So frustrating to be supporting those on their journey with God and be unable to give them good references.
The older we are, the smaller the brain
My mom has told me more than once that as we age the brain shrinks. I believe in dementia, but this has been going on with me since I was in school. The only time I remember having memorized something was when the church put on a Christmas program. I was about four years old and I had to memorize John 3:16. I was traumatized. A sheltered little kid with introverted personality. We had to form a line on stage, all the younger kids in the church, and recite our verse one after the other. I was the last one in line. When it got to me, I amazed even myself, and spoke the entire verse without a hitch. My grandmother used to say I didn’t try hard enough. My teachers would tell her that I fail “to apply myself”. But I studied. I attribute it to not knowing how to study. Now that sounds like an excuse! I probably didn’t apply myself. In addition to being sheltered and introverted, I was also spoiled.
Several years ago I needed to get my motorcycle endorsement. Gas prices were beyond $4 a gallon and I did not want to afford driving anymore than I had to. Hubby bought me a motorcycle. So off I go to take the class. The last day was the exam. There were two portions, written and riding. I struggled through the riding but somehow made the grade. I knew that the written portion was going to be worse and I studied every day for the two week class! My husband even drilled me on material the final day while driving to the instruction site (I was driving). There was a diverse crowd taking the class. One kid was a seasoned rider but he didn’t have a license. His parents made him take the class. There was a lady older than me who had taken the class twice prior, failing it both times. She stated if she failed this time she was giving up! There was a guy who was attending MSU to be a doctor. The instructors were impressed with him. All together there was about 25 men and women in my class, at the beginning. By the time we graduated the number had fallen to about 15. The instructor said if we missed a day we were out because there were so many waiting in line to take the course. Anyway, back to exam day! The first thing we had to do, when all were in attendance, was take the test. I was relieved to get it over with before my memory collapsed on the studying I had done. I went through those questions like a knife in butter! It wasn’t ten minutes and I was turning my paper in. At one point I wanted to change one of my questions. As I was about to erase, I stopped myself and said, “no, trust your instincts!” I handed my paper in without blemish.
Waiting for the grade
After every one was finished (seemed like hours), the instructors graded our papers. One of them started off by saying how there were two outstanding papers amongst the class. One got a 100% the other only missed one. But if they hadn’t erased their original answer they would have had 100% as well. They called my name and told me I had 99% and should not have changed my answer. I must have had a puzzled look on my face because the doctor student blurted out, “WELCOME TO MED SCHOOL!” Then the instructor looked at him and said “good job, doctor, 100%!”. I still can’t figure out how he received credit for my perfect paper! He certainly was contented with them thinking he was not the one who erased and chose the wrong answer! Hubby said “no big deal! You passed! You got your license!” He’s right, it was nothing-but-a-thing! BUT, I wish I could remember that student doctors name. It would have been nice to be able to avoid that guys practice!