My Story & Struggle

Me on the left
Did I? I don’t remember that,” I said. “But you must remember what you said in class to the teacher. It was so funny,” he said as my friends laughed, remembering a memory that was mine but somehow was nowhere in my head to be recalled.

 I always thought it was natural for me not to have a strong memory. I’d walk into a room looking for something and walk out only to realize I never happened to check for what I was looking for. If there were a poster boy for someone who forgets where he put his keys, his phone and his wallet, I would be him!
                  To make things worse, I suffered from slight dyslexia, mostly with my spelling. Even some of the simplest words would slip from my memory. Trying to take an Irish test while spelling phonetically is a bad idea; it’s probably why I failed the subject. I had a great childhood and have great memories, but trying to remember them is like trying to remember a dream after you awake. “What was wrong with me?” I never asked that question because I didn’t know better. What I knew was playing video games for half a day and watching hours of T.V. When we got our first family PC, it became hours of that too. If you ask me what my favorite TV shows were when I was 9 or 10, I can tell you straight off, but ask me what year of school I was in and it might take me a while. To try and read a book was “like trying to read a Chinese newspaper.”
I would read five words and I would start to feel sleepy. My attention span was more scattered than the sunny days we get in Ireland. Sometimes I would be playing video games, listening to music, downloading on my laptop, surfing MSN and texting on my phone all at once—and to think I thought I was productive. I use to give my brain working memory overload all the time, in addition to the fact that my brain was wired to be scattered, making it impossible for me to focus on anything for a given length of time. I am a true child of the digital age, but being born into this age has left me with many defects. Not only that my diet was musty chips, ham sandwiches, cereal, and sugary snacks I was depriving my brain of the right nutrition stopping my self from being able to concentrate, remember and process new information at an optimum level. Not only that but I was never told the right Memory Skills that could enhance my methods of learning new information.    
Most of us from the onset of our school lives are never told this information that I am going to share with you. You might get a few statements like eat a good meal, get a good sleep, and stop sitting to close to the tv,  but never told why. Efficient studying and learning is something that can only be done in a distraction-free environment with the right brain foods, using the right mediums to learn off and with the right beliefs. As years go by, distractions are becoming so normal that even now I bet most of you reading this may have checked your phone, replied to a Facebook message, listened to your iPod or had the television on.
               Distractions have become the new normal. Most people don’t have the ability to be alone with themselves in silence without feeling anxious. These new technologies that we interact with on a daily basis do, though we might not like to admit it, rewire our brains on a neurological level. The mediums through which we receive our information also change the way in which our brain interprets it. 

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What is Working Memory

I found a great summary of what working memory is when I was reading a repot form the Irish journal of phycology called  ‘Viability of a compensatory working memory model of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder’ by Steven Thurber
                  They found that people with ADHD suffer in there working memory. They said working memory is responsible for 3 things  
‘To (1) generate and maintain representations of input stimuli (2) to search memory storage for matches thereto and (3) to access and maintain representations of behavioral responses appropriate to input stimuli’
 This in real English means:
1.         Creates and maintains the incoming information
2.         It search’s for matches of that information with information you already know
3.         It helps create new information based on what your just learning and already know to create new responses to the incoming information.

Basically working memory is the key to our understanding and interaction with the world. A great book  The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr which is one of the most profound books I have read on the subject of memory and how the internet and other mediums are changing it.

I found that one of the root words for memory is an Old Norse word Mimir who was a Norse god who protected the well of wisdom kind of true don't you think?

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The Malcolm X approach to learning.

Malcolm X
Malcolm X is a man I look up to, for those who don’t know who he is, he was a civil rights activist in the 1960’s think of a more radical and extreme version of Martin Luther King. What I found incredible about this man was in his autobiography you get to see the transformation he went through in prison.

When he went into prison he was a thief, drug dealer and a hustler who was uneducated past the age of 10 here what he said about his experience

I became increasingly frustrated at not being able to express what I wanted to convey in the letters that I wrote […] In the Street, I had been the most articulate hustler out there 

— I had commanded attention when I said something. But now, trying to write in simple English, I not only wasn’t articulate, I wasn’t even functional. How would I sound writing in slang, the way I would say it, something such as “Look, daddy, let me pull your coat about a cat, Elijah Muhammad—” Many who today hear me somewhere in person, or on television, or those who read something I’ve said, will think I went to school far beyond the eighth grade. This impression is due entirely to my prison studies.
[…] Every book I picked up had few sentences which didn’t contain anywhere from one to nearly all of the words that might as well have been in Chinese. When I just skipped those words, of course, I really ended up with little idea of what the book said.[…] I saw that the best thing I could do was to get hold of a dictionary—to study, to learn some words. I was lucky enough to reason also that I should improve my penmanship. It was sad. I couldn’t even write in a straight line. It was both ideas together that moved me to request a dictionary along with some tablets and pencils 

[...] I spent two days just riffling uncertainly through the dictionary’s pages. I’d never realized so many words existed!

[…] In my slow, painstaking, ragged handwriting, I copied into my tablet everything printed on that first page, down to the punctuation marks. […] Then, aloud, I read back, to myself, everything I’d written on the tablet. Over and over aloud, to myself, I read my own handwriting. 

[…] I suppose it was inevitable that as my word-base broadened, I could for the first time pick up a book and read and now begin to understand what the book was saying. Anyone who read a great deal can imagine the new world that opened. Let me tell you something: from then until I left that prison, in every free moment I had, if I was not reading in the library, I was reading on my bunk. You couldn’t have gotten me out of books with a wedge. 

[…] [With] my reading of books, months passed without my even thinking about being imprisoned. In fact, up to then, I never had been so truly free in my life. 
One day I was listening a speech he gave and he said when your learning something or doing something new you need to change your Philosophy which is your awareness on the topic, that will change your Thought pattern, that will change your Attitude which will change your Behavior that will in turn change your Actions.

                   So for example when your parents were told you to get a good nights sleep before a test did you ever really listen? If you ask why they would just say ‘because you should’ they were trying to change a behavior pattern, not your Philosophy on  why you should do it.
                  If I was to tell you the reason you should do it is because when you sleep its your brains way of consolidating all the memory’s of your day and storing them in your long term memory while freeing up your short term memory making it easier for you to learn more and to think more clearly.
See this is a different way of making you see why you should get a good nights sleep before a test because I am trying to change your awareness (your philosophy) and not your behavior which you yourself will change natural on hearing it in that way.

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Simple Way to Increase Your Communication Skills

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All the Same in Memory & Learning!

You all have the capacity to have amazing memories
I thought about thus after I typed it and thought of how insulting that might sound. But what I mean by it is we all have the capacity to be geniuses and to have the best memory you can have. I think outside of genetics there is so mush stuff that your unaware of that is stopping you from having super human memory.
                  When you become aware of this and what them problems are, you can help but see them everywhere! What then will happen is you will natural be forced some slower then others to change and that’s the great thing about the stuff that I will show you.
                  You all have the capacity to have amazing memories outside of genetics or injuries.
                  Just think for one second what it would be like to have your brain working at top condition all them time every day for the rest of your life. Think about never forgetting the important things you need to remember, think about what it would be learn to only have to look over notes once and not a hundred times! What would having superhuman memory and how much joy that would bring to your life?
                  So before we begin think about the outcome you want from this class. Because people who know what outcome they want are more likely to get it. So just think about that for a moment today.

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Landscape picture
This is taken from the book Study Less, Remember More! Which you can read for free here.

A team of University of Michigan researchers, in the study (The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature) led by psychologist Marc Berman, recruited some three dozen people and subjected them to a rigorous and mentally fatiguing series of tests designed to measure the capacity of their working memory and their ability to exert top-down control over their attention.

The subjects were divided into two groups. Half of them spent about an hour walking through a secluded woodland park, and the other half spent an equal amount of time walking along busy downtown streets. Both groups then took the tests a second time. Spending time in the park, the researchers found, “significantly improved” people’s performance on the cognitive tests, indicating a substantial increase in attentiveness. 

Walking in the city, by contrast, led to no improvement in test results. The researchers then conducted a similar experiment with another set of people. Rather than taking walks between the rounds of testing, these subjects simply looked at photographs of either calm rural scenes or busy urban ones. The results were the same. 

The people who looked at pictures of nature scenes were able to exert substantially stronger control over their attention, while those who looked at city scenes showed no improvement in their attentiveness. “In sum,” concluded the researchers, “simple and brief interactions with nature can produce marked increases in cognitive control.” Spending time in the natural world seems to be of “vital importance” to “effective cognitive functioning.”

So try apply this to your life by using picture of nature on your desktop screen or smart-phones or anywhere you can put a picture of nature this is massively effect your cognitive function.

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