Okay, more from Scott H. Young today. (I’m really digging his “learning bootcamp” emails.)
Today’s lesson was specifically about memorizing things. While rote memorization isn’t really a part of holistic learning, there are times when it is a required part of your studies.
Enter a Second Language
I want to learn Hebrew. There is a three step process to that:
- Learn to read the Hebrew.
- Understand what I’m reading.
- Learn to speak Hebrew conversationally.
(Until I get Rosetta Stone or something similar, I’m pretty limited to just 1 and 2.) When it comes to learning a language, there’s a certain amount of memorization that’s required. You just can’t get around the fact that you need to memorize the meaning of words.
I’ve been working with homemade flashcards, but Scott offers a different option: working with mental images. It seems that the people who memorize things the best do so by memorizing a picture.
And, actually, I’ve already seen this at work. I churned through Hebrew letters in one of my beginner books very slowly, then I found Cartoon Hebrew. It takes each letter, then makes it look like a word that starts with the same letter. Suddenly, it became easy to remember the sounds each letter made and I quickly picked up the alphabet. (Even now, when I get two similar letters confused, my mind goes back to the pictures from this website).
Scott says you need to make two mental images and link the two together. Mental is all well and good, but you know how much I like stick figures, so let’s play with my Hebrew lesson for the week.
The sillier the picture, the better it’s supposed to stick in your mind. (Bear in mind that Hebrew is read from right to left.)It’s not easy to draw something to represent “in the beginning,” but since that’s the first word of Genesis, I linked it to Eve in the garden (doing a little laundry).
Rosh makes me think of rosacea and blushing, and New Year’s makes me think of champagne. So we have pink champagne (which is made from blush wine and will make you red in the face if you drink too much).
Okay, Zion sounds a lot like “lion” (in this case, catching some zzz’s), and lions represent Israel like bald eagles represent America. Samson killed a lion with the jaw bone of an ass, Daniel was thrown into a den of lions, the tribe of Judah has long been represented by a lion (“the Lion of Judah”), etc. Also, a sleeping lion works well to represent Jerusalem, which means city (or place) of peace. [Insert The Lion Sleeps Tonight earworm]
So, you get the idea. Associate pictures with the words or concepts you’re trying to memorize so it’s easier to remember the meanings.