It’s 2020 and this April 9th I turn 63 years old. I began studying “memory” at the library when I was about 15 or 16, and began learning the Major System when I was about 16 years old by reading the classic “Memory Book” by Harry Loraine & Jerry Lucas. (I now possess a decent sized print, digital and audio book library surrounding the topics of memory and memory systems.)
I’ve used the Major Method all my life. Some of you may have noticed that I just referred to the Major System as the Major Method, and some of you may even have rightly guessed that it is because I am also a follower (and supporter) of Anthony Metivier’s “Magnetic Memory Method”.
Metivier’s views on mnemonics are similar to the views Bruce Lee held on martial arts when Lee founded the Jeet Kune Do system. Metivier incorporates all memory techniques from all cultures, past and present, and uses whatever science there is to guide development. The philosophy is the same: use whatever works, remain fluid, be like water, change as needed, stay open and flexible.
Dr. Metivier is strongly committed to keeping a regimented memory development schedule. I am not.
I use systems every day, and while they’re central in my learning, and I’m always looking for ways to use them better, they’re not my primary focus any longer. My focus is on stopping what I’m doing occasionally whenever my love needs me to be there for her, and to keep her close for the time we have left. And that’s ok. Anyone’s priorities can change. Right now that’s the way things are with me.
I’ve memorized card decks before, and probably will again, but don’t feel a burning desire or need to do so. I am much newer to memory palaces*, but I am enjoying creating them, both by drawing them by hand, and by using an Android App called “Mind Palace” by Spikey Software where I can take and add photographs (much quicker for brand new places I visit).
- I’ve known about Memory Palaces for decades, but for two reasons I erroniously considered them to be less valuable than the Major Method. The first reason was that I was thinking that the loci method was REPLACED BY the number/letter hooks and pegs system. I was wrong. The second reason was that I didn’t GET Memory Palaces. As simple and obvious as Memory Palaces are to many, I needed a guide to show me EXACTLY how they work, and recently I found this resource, and bought it: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/?ean=2940156608317 So now I’m reading it, (correcting my mistake), and having a blast.
I used various memory methods (including Sleep Learning, author David Curtis, 1960) to teach myself German from zero to college level in 6 months of immersive self study when I was 28 years old, and have been to Germany three times for a total of about 9 weeks, speaking no English at all while there.
I currently teach bartending, and students are taught many acrostics (initial letters are used as the initial letters of drink ingredients to make meaningful phrases that makes recipes easier to recall). Due to rigid constraints placed upon me I have little opportunity to train students in what we do, but I do share resources with those who ask me how I memorize drinks, and who are receptive.