Before I start…yesterday was ridiculous. <–Weather (that is an ACTUAL picture of the ACTUAL sky yesterday!!) friends, family…FOOD. I love 4th of July.

Call me a dork, but I’ve just begun re-reading The Lord of The Rings, and yesterday I read about Bilbo’s party, with all of the fireworks… And then I got to see some ON THE FRONT row, RIGHT above me, with some of my closest friends…it was great :]

BUT. That’s not what I was going to talk about. The past week I’ve been reading a book about memory, creatively named Memory Power. *sarcasm*. I just happened to pick it up at the library, whilst (haha, I’ve been reading too many old books) meandering through the aisles, hoping something interesting would grab my attention.

I’ve never had a good memory. Ever. For example: I locked my keys in the car yesterday. Not fun. And today, I went to let my neighbor’s dogs out, only to be told I was supposed to do it Saturday. I’ve forgotten two weeks in a row to give my friends back some things I’ve borrowed, and finally, I’ve had VBS materials to give to my room leader for awhile now, and have had FOUR opportunities to give them to her…and have forgotten each time.

So. We’ve established that. HOWEVER. My retention of FACTS has DRASTICALLY improved. For example: twenty minutes ago I memorized a list of 26 words (granted, there’s one for each letter of the alphabet, so they’re easier to remember, BUT STILL.) and I can still remember them now! (*Promise I’m not cheating, haha*)

Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Juliet, Kilo, Lima, Mike, November, Oscar, Papa, Quebec, Romeo, Sierra, Tango, Uniform, Victor, Whiskey, X-Ray, Yankee, and Zulu.

Supposedly that’s the pilot’s alphabet, what pilots use for tower communications. But that took me about FIFTEEN MINUTES to memorize, I KID YOU NOT. I used the Roman Room with the SEA method.

I’m going to summarize what I learned here, so I don’t forget it…and you can put this into practice too, if you like.

Basically there’s two things: visualization and Roman Rooms. I know the Roman Room sounds a bit sketchy, but it’s AMAZING.

The first thing, visualization is to use SEA to see (*I’m using the book’s terminology, btw, so don’t blame me if it’s cheesy, haha*). Use Senses, Emotions, and Actions to help you remember something. He says to paint a living, 3D picture in your mind of the things you’re trying to remember. I thought of a lighthouse keeper to remember SEA. He SEE’S (sight, a sense) a ship out at SEA, and feels PITY (an emotion) for the sailors, so he IGNITES (an action) the lantern in the lighthouse. See? (no pun intended, promise.) So now I have a mental picture that I can always fall back on. It’s much easier to remember something that has SEA attached to it.

So that’s the first thing. And you use that in the second thing, the Roman Room.

Basically, a Roman Room (and I’m not going to go into the history of it, sorry) is a string of items on the corner-wall-corner-wall-corner-wall-corner-wall-floor-ceiling of a room. You start with 1, an object in the first corner over your left shoulder in a room. 2 is an item on the wall to the right of the first corner, and so on. So you have ten items, each with a number ascribed to it. Next, you use SEA to remember those items, until you can repeat them backward and forward in their numerical order. So you should be able to think the number along with the item, and mentally spin around the room, each thing popping into your head.

That’s a Roman Room.

I know it makes no sense yet, have patience!

Once you can say the items backward and forward twice (and this is a memory trick for any kind of studying) take a fifteen minute break, then say it again backwards and forwards. If you can, then you’ll never forget it…ever. That’s a common misconception about memory – that you have to use repetition over and over…but really, all you need is to learn it correctly, and be able to repeat it 2 times correctly…then once more after a fifteen minute break, and you’re set.

Alright, so your Roman Room is done. Now, take a list of ten things. If it’s sentences, condense them to a key word that will help you remember the rest. Then link the object in the room to the word you want to remember. The crazier the link, the better. Use SEA on both the object and the word on the list, and make them INTERACT. Once you do that for each object, repeat it twice, take a break, check your memory fifteen minutes later…and you’re good to go.

You can make a Roman Room out of ANY room, and you’ll never forget any of it. It’s insane! But it works.

Anyway, now hopefully I’ll never forget this. Supposedly if you can teach something, you’ve finally learned it…so. Yay. haha.

Sorry that was so ridiculously long. There’s TONS more in the book, you should really get it! It’s called Memory Power by Scott Hagwood.

Hope you all had a lovely 4th of July!!