I'm having fun reading "Brain Rules" by John Medina. It's interesting, funny and--unexpectedly--not the least bit dry. I'll write more about it in the next few days. But for now, one of the rules, #6 (Long-Term Memory: Remember to Repeat) made me recall someone named Three-Story Laurie.
It was one of my favorite nicknames ever, because while it sounded like it might have referred to an apartment building, Three-Story Laurie referred to her tendency to repeat the same few stories again and again. She showed up at various gatherings of my college friends over the years, and always had a collection of three new stories that she'd tell and retell over the course of the weekend. By repeating the stories, she made sure she remembered them. In doing so, Laurie was employing this advice from "Brain Rules":
...The relationship between repetition and memory is clear. Deliberately re-expose yourself to the information if you want to retrieve it later. Deliberately re-expose yourself to the information more elaborately if you want the retrieval to be of higher quality. Deliberately re-expose yourself to the information more elaborately, and in fixed, spaced intervals, if you want the retrieval to be the most vivid it can be. (p. 133)
This idea of remembering via repetition has a lot of uses. I've found, when recording stories for the Mistake Bank, that a second or third retelling is better, tighter and richer than the first.
And, oftentimes, I write in this space about something I've read, in order to understand it and remember it better.
Sort of like now.
memory, narrative, learning, reading list