As I’m typing this article, most of the letters on my black keyboard have already disappeared. Honestly speaking, the only letters visible are “Q” and “J.” The letter “X” is half gone. I suppose this is what I get for not investing in a good brand. Then again, I’m not exactly having trouble typing. In fact, I type just as efficiently as before, if not more. Other people might attribute this to the A-S-D-F finger positioning most of us had been taught when we were first introduced to the computer. Let me tell you, I have never mastered it. Although that basic method has worked for others, it takes me twice as long to type that way.
My theory is that my muscles are already so used to typing that I need only to face the black, blank squares and my fingers automatically know where to go.
However, I can’t apply this muscle memory theory when I’m preparing for a test or memorizing a long list of terms. And what if I’ve never been good at memorization in the first place?
According to the Skeptics Dictionary, memory is “the retention of, and ability to recall, information, personal experiences, and procedures.”
When Andi Bell, also known as “The Amazing Memory Man,” was given 20 minutes to memorize the order of 520 cards, he did so without missing a beat and correctly stated the position in the packs and the value of every single card he was tested on.
Bell claims that his technique has something to do with a.) memorizing a particular route in his mind and b.) associating each card with a colorful animal or object like a bear or a pineapple. As he begins to memorize, he puts each symbol in a particular place in his memorized route and creates a most unusual journey from there.
While this technique sounds unconventional, it actually isn’t 100% original. Bell’s memorization skills are merely a variation of the ancient Method of Loci from Greece. According to Wikipedia, the Method of Loci “is a kind of mnemonic link system based on places (loci, or locations), used most often in cases where long lists of items must be remembered in order.”
In short, Bell conjures up a story as he memorizes (which is perfect for us writers! ~:>). It seems that with just a bit of creativity, anyone could easily improve their memory.