3 steps for better memory Pt 1

Ever had a word or name that was on the tip of your tongue, but you couldn’t recall what it was? Ever walked into a room and then wondered why you came here?

Chances are, everybody reading this post has ever had their memory fail them or not working so well. There are seven steps that, when taken, can help us to remember anything better.

1. Reach and teach

Be in the present. IF you are learning something that does not mean anything to you, chances are, you will not only forget, but you will zone out in class as well. If you want to remember a name, find out more about that person and associate this person with their interests, hobbies, work and other interesting bits of information. Try to find something in common because if you are interested int he same subject or hobby, then chances are more likely that you will remember this common interest with this person. This is also important when you are studying, self learning or teaching yourself.

Even if you are your own student, don’t assume that you’ll be a good student who always listens and can take in all the information. You need to teach yourself in a way that allows you freedom to enjoy what you’re learning and relate to the material as well.

2. Reflect

This is not only step 2, but reflection is within every step of memory. Reflection is an important step towards memory because you are doing several of the memory steps at once. First, you are reflecting. Then, you are recoding-writing about what you have learned in your own words, and rehearsing. Rehearsal is a much later step but certainly does happen when reflecting. You are practicing what you’ve learned.

Reflection is a chance to digest the information, all that you’ve learned and everything you have done. It is a way o find out what you have learned, any questions and any concepts or information that you are unsure of.

It is crucial to a good memory, that you are able to recognise and then iron out any confusions that you have with what you are learning. Whether that is remembering that the person’s name is Jill, not Jane, or Sally and not Sammy. With names, it might be helpful to write acrostic poems or Mnemonics. Of course, we would only really make this kind of effort if we had to study people who we cannot meet. But it might be fun to try this out with your colleagues, friends, family members and generally, people whose name you easily forget.

As a writer, I love the idea to write a silly flash fiction of a random character but using that person’s name.

Einstein was a poor boy who lived in New York. When he was walking out in the streets on the way to school, and an adult pushed him aside and said, “Get out of the way”, he thought to himself, “Right! I’m getting out of here as soon as possible!” 

Of course, if you are learning about Einstein, it’s probably best to connect the silly story to something real about him. Like his hair.

I think of my blog posts that I write about what I’m learning in school, as both a rehearsal but also reflection as well. Sometimes it would be more obvious which one I am emphasising on. If I’m still in the process of learning or digesting, then that would be a reflection, which would come through quite clearly.

On the other hand, if this is a rehearsal, then probably it would feel a bit more structured, informative, and “I understand what I’m talking about, instead of spitting out words.” I hope this post conveys the latter.

3. Recoding

Just like Rehearsal, recoding interconnects with reflection as well. Recoding is about taking the material, concept or information, and turning organising the information into a visual organiser.

A visual or graphic organiser can be:

  • mindmap
  • brainstorm
  • PMI charts (Positive, minus, interesting/implications)
  • Venn diagrams

I confess that I stick with what I am familiar with and I don’t tend to try other forms of graphic organisers. However, I am slowly beginning to do this and one particular new chart that I like, has:

  • Simple examples
  • Examples
  • Interesting examples
  • Non examples

In there middle is the title or topic, much like a brainstorm or mind map. The other four categories are in boxes around the main topic. Another interesting note is “non examples”. I particularly like this because it allows room to make mistakes and not feel like a failure. Because giving a wrong example or answer, is countered as a “right example” of a non-example.

I can see the implications of using this table in schools. It would allow students to gain confidence and to have a go and guessing. After all, it is pretty easy to guess the wrong thing rather than be lucky to just know the right answer.

Teacher: What is 5 plus 4?

Student: 10?

Teacher: Thank you. You have given a good example of a non example. 

*writes answer on the board in correct box*

Teacher: Does anyone else have a non example to share? 

I think this also helps adults and anyone self teaching as well, but in general, humans are afraid to make mistakes. Even when we are alone making a mistake, we feel the fool. But having a “non example” category encourages us to make a mistake and be imperfect, and also helps us to see what we are learning, and what we are not. It can be good to see the opposite of what we are focused on.

This is the first part of this series, “7 steps for better memory”. I will either have one or two more posts to list the rest of the steps. Then, I will write more posts to expand on each of the steps. There is a ton of information I have not yet shared. I guess you could say I’m learning a lot. Next post will also have the reference to the book that I take all of this information from.

I will also have better examples-photos!

See you then.

 

Questioning my faith

Earlier this year, I was devasted and rocked when I found myself reading Genesis (the bible) and writing in another book, questions upon questions. Many of these included homosexuality, dinosaurs and what “the expanse of heavens” actually mean.

I found myself questioning my faith and watching Atheist youtubers didn’t help either. It didn’t matter if they targeted catholics, mormons, or people with different ideals than mine. I became cynical and rational.

“God couldn’t be real. Surely not. It’s impossible.”

Plus, he didn’t answer any of my dinosaur-related questions.

I knew christians weren’t stupid people. So this stands to reason that we can ask questions. This is only to get a clearer understanding and picture of what we say we believe. If we don’t understand, we can’t explain this to others.

Still, I found that the more questions I asked, the more answers I didn’t have, the more cynical I became.

But then something happened that changed how I felt about what I was doing. I had just come back from Hong Kong and I met my christian friends at an event (more on this in a later post). As I had fellowship with these peeople and worshiped God with people who were secured in their faith, and had an aura of confidence in God, I realised something. I wasn’t asking questions to prove that God wasn’t real. I wasn’t doing it to rennounce my faith and step away from it.

I’m not asking questions to rennounce my faith and step away from it. But I’m asking questions in order to re-build the foundation blocks stronger and steadier and according to what I actually believe.

This is what this short blog post is about. Although it’s short, it was a happy revelation so I hope sharing this might also brighten someone’s day too.

I have to keep looking for answers and keep asking questions because I don’t have a full revelation or a complete big picture yet, but as I search, I’m confident I’ll find what I’m looking for.

Questions to think about:

  1. What do you believe?
  2. Why do you believe this?
  3. Does what you believe actually make sense and feel right to you?

 

 

I wonder (Sudanese)

I wonder what children thinks of adults,
Adults who control the world,
Who have money to buy what they want,
Who are able to make choices good or bad,
Who could start wars if they wanted to.

I wonder what children think of adults,
Adults who have power, control, riches and comfort,
Who can take care of themselves,
Who are independent.

I wonder what children think of me,
Do they think I’m lucky that I’ve lived through childhood and survived?
Do they think I’m happy because I’ve always had food to eat?

I wonder what they wonder about me.

 

Donate here: (Link to my World Vision Fundraiser page).

 

Dedicated to:

To the child refugees of South Sudan
To all refugees
To my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ

Finland: I want to teach here

I’m studying to become a primary teacher. I’m an undergraduate which means this is my first year. I’m very interested in how different countries tackle education. Finland has proven to be very good at producing people who not only know a lot of things but have good character. They can think for themselves and essentially, are able to more easily and readily have their own identity. As a future teacher, how the Finland education system worked really interested me. It made me want to teach there. The icing on the cake or the cherry on top that really made me interested was that teachers in Finland were respected. And all the teachers in virtually every other country goes, “Heck yeah!”.

We’re not babysitters. This is not a daycare that we’re running. But we clearly don’t get the respect that teachers in Finland receive. Clearly. I particularly love how teachers use their free time to develop their pedagogy. In other words, they’re always learning about how to teach and how to do it better. Other things I loved in the video (I’ve paraphrased):

Maths teacher: I want my students to be happy

Principal: I want my students to play

 

Question time:

I don’t normally do this, but I’d like to hear my readers’ thoughts on this. What do you think of Finland’s education? Does this work because Finland is so small or could bigger countries adopt the Finland way?

10 things you should know about biblical theology

  1. One out of a thousand- There are so many kinds of theology, it’s crazy. Biblical theology is only one kind of theology. One out of many ways to look at, approach and interpret the bible.
  2. Story focussed- Biblical theology is following the grand story of the world. It’s a meta narrative. It’s a large story composed of smaller stories. Every book in the bible contributes to the grand story-yes, even Leviticus.
  3. Forest for the trees-We’re looking at the big picture. We’re looking at the trees and how they link to the forest. In other words, why did God allow the Hebrews be subject to slavery for 400 years? Why did God stubborn Pharaoh’s heart? Biblical theology asks and reflects on these questions in light of the bigger story of salvation and redemption.
  4. Themes-like any good story, the biblical story is told through the lens of themes. you can tell the biblical story many times because there are many themes to look at.
  5. The Theo Combo-Biblical Theology is not just one kind. It is a mixture of systematic, historic and biblical theology. Yes, it’s true. You do need to be a bit systematic when telling the story in the lens of a theme
  6. Many themes-and only some include-Covenant, redemption, salvation, God’s people, temple. For my class, I wrote an essay, framing the story in the lens of the covenant theme. I’ll do the same for the others themes to in order to broaden my understanding and yours too.
  7. Grace-When you can see the bigger picture, the one story from Genesis to Revelation, then you will know Grace. When you know Grace, you will worship God. You might even go so far as to bow down and break out in tears. This is because Grace produces true worship. And there’s a lot of grace in the biblical story.
  8. We’re all in the story
  9. A ministry tool
  10. All Christians are theologians

Genesis review

The bible is full of amazing miracles, stories, and truths. Where there is God’ judgement, there is also God’s mercy. When Adam and Eve sinned, God cursed them and the serpent. But in his mercy, came the verse from Genesis 3:15, that gives hope for humankind.

The verse tells that:

A descendent from Eve will crush serpent’s head

Serpent will strike the descendent’s heel

We know that the descendant is Jesus, and the serpent is Satan. At the cross, Satan strikes JC’s heel. JC is wounded and even though it hurts both him and the people (I still cringe a little bit when a pastor is a little bit too graphic about the nails), but it is only a wound that can be healed later on. Satan’s head is crushed. When the head is hurt, that is, even more, worse than when the heel is wounded.

How can this be so when Jesus died on the cross?

Indeed, when Jesus died, that was part of him crushing serpent’s head. He was our scapegoat, he became our sacrifice and died for our sins. I will write a post on this in more detail but for more information, read, Leviticus 16:21.

Since it was Jesus who died, how was it that Satan’s head was crushed?

When Jesus died, he went to hell, not heaven. He broke the chains and the gates of hell. He rose again from the dead. God raised him up from the dead because of the justification of our sins. In other words, we won!

And we won against sin and death, the two weapons of Satan.

Since we conquered against his weapons, his weapons are effectively ineffective.

Does death still sting?

Yes, it does. When someone dies, we grieve and mourn and cry. But we also have hope. Hope that is in the good news of Jesus Christ which is actually good news for the dead.