Hello everyone! I’m Francisco, a 25 year-old medical student from Santiago de Chile (South America). I want to introduce myself with a little story of why what you are doing here matters so much to me.
I’ve been a daydreamer all my life, and only recently figured out i’m in the hyperphantasia specter and it’s not something common to everyone. I loved to come up with mnemonics at school just for fun, but never heard of anything like the concept of “Art of Memory”.
When I got to med school in 2014, I actually gave up on imagination, because it became very distracting and I didn’t believe mnemonics could be a proper solution for learning, since it took me too long to bake them compared to how much we had to learn, and nobody else I knew was using them (except for acronyms). So I tried to memorize by repetition, walking like a zombie while repeating stuff, and actually failed at it for the most part, but managed to get good grades because I understood the concepts and I’m good at figuring out answers in standarized tests.
So when in my 6th year of university, multiple-choice tests were finally gone, I slammed my face every day against the oral interrogations in my clinical rounds because I just COULD NOT MEMORIZE lists of names, criteria and numbers (and had not done it for years, when I was supposed to). I went full impostor syndrome, and ended up leaving med school from 2019 to 2021.
Imagine my joy when I stumbled across Josh Foer’s video on his memory palace for memorizing 100 numbers of Pi. It actually turned everything upside down for me, because it allowed me to accept my imagination neither as a handicap nor as a childish distraction from “hardcore medical learning”, but instead as a tool. And most importantly (and I know it sounds cheesy!), it made me feel understood.
Heck, it’s been a huge help for my confidence just to KNOW that this community exists and that thinking in mnemonics makes SENSE.
Now it’s been 3 months since I picked up my studies where I left them. So yeah, I’m just happy to say hi and thank you all for being part of spreading this knowledge