Storage and Retrieval

Memory is the diary that we all carry about with us. – Oscar Wilde

Reading an interesting book right now – How We Learn by Benedict Carey. There are many nuggets but I find it useful to talk about storage and retrieval, for it matters to me personally.

If you have been following my blog, I mentioned about my failing in my masters degree course. Something which is not I am proud of.

Reading this book opens my eyes on what used to be my studying habit, or method.

Information stored is what we call as memory.

Retrieving those memory is what we call as recalling.

Both are equally important. They could function on its own, but it would not benefit us if we do not use them both.

What good is memory stored if we can’t recall it when it is needed?

What good is memory recalled if nothing is stored in the beginning?

It was mentioned that information stored would not be lost. We do not lose our memory.

It was a matter of having the difficulty in retrieving the information that we seek.

Back in the old days, when  I was a MSc student, I studied by committing it to memory. Brute memory. If the researchers are right, I have all the materials in my brain.

But why did I flunk my exam, and subsequently dropped out?

Because I didn’t master the retrieving process. The information is all there, right in my brain. If only I could put it to good news, a.k.a. recalling the information during exam.

I thought it would be easy to handling the exam.

I had put in the hard work, I studied and studied.

I memorized each fact and formula.

Came exam, my mind was blank. Stress made it even worse. What was left in my memory, or so I thought? Did my memory fail it, at such an important time?

Did I really lose it all?

Now I know better.

Knowing this, how would you do better? How would you improve your recalling power? What would help in making your memory retrieval process better?

P/S: This post is written by re-calling. Hence, there would be misquoted facts, if any. Writing this down by re-calling may help me to remember this fact for a longer time – to prevent the history from repeating.

Meng

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