Thursday, September 15, 2016

Nightshade berries

A friend's husband went in for a doctor's checkup after turning 65. He said that he was given three random words at the beginning of the appointment and then asked what those three words were at the end. Another friend and her husband had the same experience after they turned 65. We sat around talking about it as we ate breakfast and then someone gave us all three words to remember - horse, rose, penny. An hour later we were asked what the three words were. I had just stuck the three words into short-term memory and they were still there. Later when my long-term memory went rifling through the junk in short-term memory it would bypass those words as being of no consequence. However, two of my other friends said the way they remembered was to make a mental image incorporating the three words: they both pictured a horse's face w/ a rose stuck behind it's ear and a penny on it's nose. Rats. When long-term memory started sifting out the garbage in my short-term memory it was intrigued by the imagery and now the stupid three words are neatly stored away in my brain for easy retrieval. How it should have worked is like this morning at milking. In the fourth group of cows, #1270 needed pink eye medicine, #1439 needed hydrogen peroxide applied to an udder wound, #393, 1215, and 1243 had to be dried off so when they came into the parlor for milking, I needed to alert the herdsman. I memorized the numbers and found all of the cows when they came through. After tonight, those numbers will be neatly swept out of my memory as no longer important. Horse. Rose. Penny.

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