Pleased to join the community and see the depth of knowledge in many of these posts.
I’ve recently returned to university after a few years of professional work in software and, more recently, management. While I found the jobs interesting I realized that much of the work I was doing wasn’t aligned with my personal and professional goals and, contrary to what many celebrity executives say, not having a degree is a disqualifying factor to many organizations. I have little worry about being able to prove my abilities given a conversation with a potential team or firm, however getting in the door was proving to be an increasingly infuriating exercise in futility. Thus, uni and broader horizons! But I digress…
One of the things I’ve noticed since returning to school is that many of my examinations revolve around term memorization rather than conceptual understanding. Ability to discuss the interplay between various topics and ideas seems to be valued less than jotting down a list of fifty bullet points, at least in the marking schemes of my tests. Funnily, several professors have mentioned enjoying the analysis and conceptual exploration I often bring to office hour discussions and wear a betraying expression of surprise when they find out I’m not acing their courses. It’s also worth noting that I’m not in a purely scientific discipline where extensive memorization is common.
I’ve jumped in and out of memory palace techniques for a few years now and have returned to mnemonic training with my return to uni. Ideally, I’d love to develop a few schemes that will allow me to memorize terminology in a way that not only cements the exact material in my memory, but also allows me to model the way those concepts behave. To give an example, if every term is a person in a room, I want to be able to memorize the details of each person but also simulate how those people (ideas) might interact. Additionally, the idea of architecting a “master” memory palace (artificial) where I can store different categories of knowledge in different sections is also a thought I find immensely attractive. Ultimately, however, I’ve played with this idea for a while but don’t have the faintest idea as to an effective method of implementing it.
If anyone here has experience modeling their memory palaces in a similar way I would love to hear how you’ve gone about it. Similarly, if I’m describing a method or combination of methods I’d greatly appreciate being pointed in the right direction. Otherwise I look forward to developing a Frankenstein mnemonic scheme and, hopefully, capturing some of that journey on the forum.
I feel like my situation isn’t unique and that there are many other students (and academic professionals) who enjoy deep conceptual understanding but also enjoy not… well, failing. I have shared some of my limited mnemonic knowledge with a few motivated classmates, however it seems like they’ve simply used it as another tool to cram information the night before tests. At that rate I feel better off just handing them a pack of highlighters and a Red Bull as it has the same effect in the long run.
I look forward to discussing this and other topics with all of you. Happy to be here!