Posted by mrmyth on February 19, 2011
Memorization, Uncategorized

Today I’m going to set out to improve my memory. The main goal here is to learn to memorize whole passages by rote.
As I typed the word “rote” I realized I really didn’t know what it meant. I thought it just meant memorizing without concern for meaning. It turns out that rote means memorization by repetition. Perhaps that is a clue to the technique.
I have been an actor for a number of years, and it’s always surprised me that many other actors could pick up lines of dialog and monologues much faster than I could. It didn’t seem to matter how intelligent they were. They could seem dumb as bricks but be able to memorize very complicated sequences, often with words they didn’t even know the meaning of. While I struggled.
Once I do memorize something, it does seem to stick. But it generally takes a long time. I can recite whole passages of Shakespeare that I memorized over a longer period of time. A decade can go by and I can still regurgitate them without much effort.
The difficulty comes when I’m presented with writing that is particularly awkward and I’m given a short period of time to memorize it. Often it’s a few hours or even 24 hours. I struggle. It is difficult to trap it in my brain and keep it there. It’s is way past time for me to solve this problem.
So, here I go. The first method that I’m going to use is from a blog I found here
The technique described is to write or type out the text you want to memorize, go into a quiet place with the text. Read the first sentence out loud and then repeat it with your eyes closed. Then repeat the process with the first two sentences and then the first three, etc. until you are done.
Then he says, go take a nap. After the nap repeat the exercise.
I’ll try this an report back.

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