Sunday, 27 February 2011

Ruby slippers

As I mentioned in a previous post, Ian and I are doing a memory course at the moment. The lessons are very long and I'm only on lesson 6 out of 80, but I've already learned so much.

The idea of the lessons is to teach different methods of memorising information, whether it be numbers, words or even random combinations of letters (useful for learning new languages). Until now all the information learned has been random and not worth reinforcing into my long term memory, but the lesson I began today aims for you to memorise the US States in alphabetical order. Not particularly useful when I think about it, but this is one I intend to commit to my long-term memory - it'll be good practice if nothing else.

The lesson describes a number of different ways that you could use to learn the names of the states, the simplest being to associate each of the states with a single image - these are then superimposed on a list of preprepared support images which I already know in order.

So I have 50 states and I need 50 images. Some require little imagination, especially when it comes to states I've visited. Some require a little googling and then I find mention of the Museum of Oz in Kansas and the image of ruby slippers instantly pops into my head. Some states seem downright impossible. Why is it I don't associate a single piece of information with Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin...?

If anyone has any good image ideas for the above states I'd really appreciate you posting a comment. I'd rather not use people (Bill Clinton being an obvious choice for Arkansas) because I'm not very good at visualising faces, but other than that there's no limit to how random they can be. For instance I have Jack Daniels for Tennessee and a 'surrey with a fringe on top' for Oklahoma.