The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Memory wood sheds are probably the key

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Faith Hultman

More stories from Faith Hultman

One girl’s expedition into the uncharted territory of being a fully functioning member of society

Advertisement

As it turns out, building a memory palace (or wood shed) requires a lot of mental gymnastics.

The idea of a memory palace is this: Someone builds an imaginary structure or route and stores anything and everything they need to remember within the structure. I became aware of this concept after watching the TV show Sherlock, in which the hero remembers virtually everything that happens to him by storing it in his memory palace.

I found a Wikihow article on how, exactly, one goes about saving memories in an imaginary building. It seems simple, but it requires a lot of dedication and visualization.

Memory palaces were developed by the ancient Greeks, supposedly after a man named Simonides escaped a collapsing building immediately before it crushed everyone inside. He was able to recall exactly where the guests of the dinner party he had been attending were sitting, and he was therefore able to identify the unrecognizable bodies dragged from the remains.

According to an article in The Guardian, “our most robust and powerful memory is for spaces and what happens in them. We learn their structure and contents effortlessly, absorbing hundreds of ‘facts’ without even noticing it.”

Apparently a Christian missionary to China in the middle ages, Matteo Ricci, was able to recite entire books forward and backward. He even memorized the Chinese language using his memory palace.

At the close of this week I can say I have not yet successfully created a memory palace, but I have begun to visualize one of my own, which I am convinced is going to be a useful study tool and life skill.

If people throughout history have been able to memorize entire languages and books, I should be able to memorize basic facts about biology.

I will keep working on my memory palace throughout the semester, and within the next six or approaching weeks we should be able to know if this technique is one that will work long-term.

As for next week, as I continue to build my memory palace and set “if-then” goals, I’m going to also dress like Harry Styles.

Harry Styles is an icon. He was part of the most successful boy band in history, has recently released an incredible single, and has a role in an upcoming film directed by Christopher Nolan. If there’s anyone I should by trying to emulate, it’s him.

Having a definable aesthetic is, at least in my opinion, one definitive sign of having a put-together life. Instead of making my own, I’m going to steal Harry Styles’ for the next week because, just maybe, if I look like a star I’ll become one.

Does it work? Is this the week I turn myself around for good? We’ll find out. It’s a desperate world out there folks; stay on top of it.

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment

The Spectator intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Spectator does not allow anonymous comments and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Memory wood sheds are probably the key

    Student Life

    Spinning toward success

  • Memory wood sheds are probably the key

    News

    Finance student Ryan Ring appointed to serve on the UW System Board of Regents

  • Memory wood sheds are probably the key

    News

    Housing code revisions aim to improve rental properties in Eau Claire

  • Memory wood sheds are probably the key

    Currents

    ‘Population 485’ tells story of local volunteer firefighters

  • Memory wood sheds are probably the key

    News

    Celebrating 100 years of teacher education

  • Memory wood sheds are probably the key

    Currents

    Jesse McCartney and fans get ‘Back Together’

  • Memory wood sheds are probably the key

    News

    University teams up with local hotels to account for housing shortage

  • Memory wood sheds are probably the key

    News

    Blugold designs poster for ‘Discover Wisconsin’s’ 30th anniversary

  • Memory wood sheds are probably the key

    Currents

    International Folk Fair packs Davies Center, draws crowds and diverse music offerings

  • Memory wood sheds are probably the key

    Sports

    Blugold softball extends win streak to eight games

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.
Memory wood sheds are probably the key