As the semester comes to a precipitous close, I thought that I would grant my Comp I students (and myself) a refreshing break from the writing monotony by introducing to them a few basic mnemonic principles, namely, the memory link and the digit-consonant associative process. Within less than fifty minutes, my class had memorized a random twenty item (e.g., hamburger, Kim Kardashian, MLA Handbook, etc.) list and pi to the fifteenth decimal spot. (Actually, much less than fifty minutes, given that I spent time discussing the final and other class concerns. Also, a significant amount of that time was spent discussing the underlying principles to memory strategies and explaining the way to incorporate these principles.) Given that education rests upon the twin pillars of memorization and the useful incorporation of memorized material into larger hierarchical systems, I stressed to them the value of taking these techniques with them to conquer their little worlds.
Yet, the whispering continued and heads still hung low. However, a few eyes did brighten with learning and excitement. Let me keep the image of those eyes (and the mnemonic image of Kim Kardashian pulling an MLA Handbook from her perpetually exposed cleavage) before me.
By the way, this guy, Ed Cooke, is the guru: