keep calm… and remember!

14 Oct

ImageDon’t worry… this blog wont be as heavy as the last one! Memories… they can be a funny thing because they show up in the least expected moments, they are there when you need them and sometimes when you don’t want them. Your memory is an incredible tool that is made, shaped and kept in extraordinary ways and has helped  your life become the way it is and for you to know everything you are and have today! We spent quite a few classes talking about memories and im going to discuss a personal level of memories but more so a scholastic and daily forms of memory.

The first time we discussed memories in class is when we were asked to write with our non dominant hand the first 3 memories of our childhood that came to mind along with the main theme and feelings that it portrayed. This was a hard task for me because all I could remember were bad times and I guess that’s because the harshest scars are the ones that remain the longest. However, after this I began to make it a point to try and remember all the good times my family had and I even had a discussion with my father, but it was quite hard – it was never a full family when good memories were made. But, I always attempt to remember my family in the best of ways and I even stole our only family photo and keep it on my bedside table to remind me always of the happy family we could’ve been.

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this is obviously not the picture but i was unable to scan the one. this was a memorable time though because it was the first time we were reunited in 3 years 🙂

My greatest memories are of my friends – and these last couple months, more than ever, these memories are brought up in my mind and cause tears of happiness and sadness. Every little thing reminds me of the high school memories I had with the most incredible friends that became family, which I will never forget. These last few months, I have been fortunate enough to stay in contact with my best friends and every time we talk we are always reminiscing the past. We always talk about how daily we are reminded of each other because of something we heard or something we saw. We randomly call each other and sometimes we’re laughing because we remembered something or crying because we’re home sick. The sound of each others voices reminds us of ‘the better times’ and is comforting because it reminds us that we are still there for each other and the memories and times weren’t forgotten. Sometimes I hate when these memories come up because they show up and the worst times, when I’m already feeling bad, but at times I cherish them because it’s the memories that will last forever, even though we cant rewind time. I learned that this is called “encoding specificity principle” wherein the information present at the time of encoding is as effective as a retrieval cue – these cues triggered our memories. I appreciate the times more than when they were occurring, looking in hindsight, because of these memories, I am able to be more grateful for my friends and everything we did. These memories enable me to remember what I am capable of and what my friends thought of me, and they lift me up and help me carry on even in the most difficult of times. However, there are times when I am so caught up in the past and all its glory that I cant let it go and it hinders me from moving on now.

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boracay with my friends and best friends – definitely one of the best times of my life!

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random funny quote that i believe is absolutely true! 🙂

In class we learned about how memory is best-used and obtained – encoding, storage, retrieval. We learned that in order to best keep a memory it needs to be given attention, given associations/meaning and it needs to be repeated. We learned that it only gets put into the long-term part of our brain if we truly understand it and if over a long period of time it is repeated and refreshed in our brains. This was a funny thing for me to learn, because all my life I have been a person that’s really good at memorizing. It is something that I remember and was proud of since I was young. I would get awards of memorizing the most poems, quotes, vocabulary words etc. and I would try so hard every night to get things right. My dad would help me when memorizing words and I would get punished if I didn’t get them all the first time. Memorizing was something I had to force myself to be good at at a young age, and it’s a tool that has been useful until now. However, I only memorize to the most basic extent, it stays with me for the time necessary but after a while it becomes fuzzy and I still know the basics but need to review it and memorize it again in order to get it right. Memorizing helped me in tests because I would read all the material, memorize the key terms and processes of things to occur and during the test I would get everything right/be able to express myself the right way, but when a final exam came I would have a lot of things to review/memorize again because it wasn’t fully retained in my long term memory. That teach really taught me that I cant just rely on my semi middle-term memory (I know that’s not a word but I don’t know how else to describe it), because if I need to understand a concept in my future profession, and if I need to be able to discuss ideas at times longer than an exam, I need to take the time to retain information into my long-term memory using different strategies than mere memorization.

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not mine… but certificates do look like this… they are just in subic!

Another weird/funny thing about me is that I have the worst super short-term memory ever. If I need to do something, if I need to bring something etc I need to write it down. I feel old and I feel like I’m dumb but its something that I have gotten used to. Homework needs to be written down if its going to get done, tasks need to get written down, things that need to be packed or brought to school needs to be written down and goals need to be written down. If I think of something, I need to do it immediately or I will forget about it and it will come up at the worst time possible (usually when I cant do it) and when I do have time to do it, it will be forgotten. If someone tells me something, I will forget it after awhile and in school I need to take notes otherwise lectures will be forgotten – this is why I like classes with books and visual representations so I can write them down and look at them again later. My dad is just the same, he needs to write everything down, and I don’t know if its biological or what, but I’m really scared how my memory will be when I’m much older than now.

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this isnt mine but my book of things to do looks very similar to this one

The last thing that I have experienced with memory is that when you really need to remember something, you will. The other day I had an extreme crisis and I needed to call a family member in another country. It was a desperate moment and without even thinking about it, I recalled their number (area code and all), in a different language nonetheless, and it was successful. I have not talked to, been to this other country or even dialled or saved this number in 5 years, yet, when I needed it the most, my memory did not fail me.

I truly think that everything is in your memory. I truly believe that I have experienced things, talked to people and have good memories of my family, but they are all just hidden under all other the other things I prioritize now. I believe if something required me/ stimulated the memories to re appear, it would happen. but… at the moment I haven’t found it yet, and I have so many other things that I deem ‘more important’ that they are hidden in the deepest depths of my memory. Your memory can be your best friend in times you need it but also your worst enemy – it can hinder you from forgetting something that was done to you, from forgiving others and moving one, and from moving on with your life because of a memory of a better time. In order to activate your memory when needed, sometimes in tests or in life, and you really need to remember something, I really believe its true that you need to be in the same state you were at the moment of the memory, in order to be able to recall it again (“state-dependent memory”) –> keep calm, and remember! There are things these days that I thought weren’t important to me, that I thought id never remember, but when memories come up whether of school, friends, teachers or sports I am always grateful for them showing up, whether good or bad, because they remind me of a time that I hope to never forget. I guess it is true that… “You never know the true value of a moment, until it becomes a memory.”

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