Sunday, 30 September 2012

Memory techniques


One ones are one
One twos are two
One threes are three

I am sure you started thinking of the time your primary school math teacher grilled multiplication tables into your head.

I was trying to remember a particular multiplication table the other day. I couldn't do a good job of it. It was 7 tables. And somehow 7 tables never stuck. From then until now. Something else always stuck though. Any guesses?

9 tables. It seemed to make more sense than the others. Apart from that, a grandmother's recipe to get to the table is to open up your ten fingers; have a starting point. I like to keep it on my left most finger - thumb. Start counting from that as one. Now for the technique. If you want to find 7 times 9, you close the 7th finger. The count on the left is the first number of the answer and the count on the right is the last. There you go!

I realized very few people know of/use this method. They just remember. Memory has never been my strongest point. So I have resort to measures like this.

Some others I always rely on are WE for West and East. I had a tough time keeping them in the right place until a teacher suggested I remember it as West and East. WE.

How do you know if a month has 30 or 31 days. Knuckles. Fold your left hand into a fist. Count the knuckles and the depressions for your answer. The knuckle bone is your 31 days and the depression in between two knuckles is 30 days. It even takes into account that July and August have 31 days consecutively.

We had diaries for our school. When you open any page you land in a week. The left page has three days and the right page has four. Even today three years after graduation I refer to that pattern to count days in between dates!

I am glad to have chanced upon these quirks! 

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