I’m not sure how much information is necessary, but I was told the more the better.
Who am I? What do I do?
My name is Lee, I live in a little, forgotten city in New England. It’s the kind of place where everyone is poor and the only thing we’re known for is a murder-mystery. For most of my life, I was known as high school dropout. I decided to take up reading as a hobby and it changed my life. Well that and an enormous amount of hard work. Currently, cue uplifting music I am finishing up my undergraduate degree with the hopes that I will be applying to PhD programs in the Fall! To anyone out there who thinks “it’s too late,” being early is so passe’—all the cool kids are fashionably late to the party anyways.
Art of Memory:
I discovered memory techniques through John Crowley’s masterpiece, Little, Big. Without much understanding of the techniques themselves (save that you pick a place you know, put funny images in it, and walk around) I memorized Percy Shelley’s Ode to The West Wind–my greatest feat of memorization at 70 lines, Hart Crane’s To Brooklyn Bridge, Wallace Stevens’ Palm At The End of the Mind, Shakespeare’s Sonnet 19, and Wordsworth’s A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal. After 4-6 years, I can’t say that I still remember these poems verbatim, though many lines linger like old friends.
What Didn’t Work?
I found the Memory Palace time consuming, but more importantly very taxing. I think that my images were often too isolated, so that while I could recall any part of a poem out of order, it felt clumsy, expensive, and inefficient. I found images that represent a half/entire line were necessary evils, emphasis on the evils. I don’t know anything about other memory techniques and would love to learn more!
Why Am I Here?
I’m particularly interested in internalizing Vocabulary/Foreign Languages, Texts, Musical Compositions, Mathematical Equations, Fine Art, and adaptable learning strategies. I hope to tackle these subjects at the level of a Memory Champion one day. I’ve considered hiring a memory coach, but I am too ignorant to know whether it would be worth the credit card debt.