Memorization: Things I think about in the shower 3

Every semester I'm astonished when students (plural) tell me they don't know how to memorize.  

Me (left) and my little sister Molly in the 1970s.  We had to go outside to play in the summer (no air conditioner in the house) provided we showed up back at home around 6:40pm for dinner when my dad got home from work on the train.  If we didn't show up, Mom would call friends' houses or just drive around the neighborhood until she spotted us.  No cell phones.  Like animals.

Me (left) and my little sister Molly in the 1970s.  We had to go outside to play in the summer (no air conditioner in the house) provided we showed up back at home around 6:40pm for dinner when my dad got home from work on the train.  If we didn't show up, Mom would call friends' houses or just drive around the neighborhood until she spotted us.  No cell phones.  Like animals.

It occurred to me just now as I was washing my hair that when I was a kid no one had a smart phone. Or GPS (maps people). Or a portable phone.  Or a calculator.  Or a PC.  I took a computer course in 1980 and we handed in our programs on punch cards.  Seriously.  Camera film took a few days to develop, and if you wanted video of yourself on vacation, it was usually done on a Super8 camera with no sound.  When I was seven the family got a little cassette tape recorder and we all gathered around it in astonishment...  

Anyway, if you wanted to call someone, you either looked up or usually memorized their number.  In school there were no calculators, so you were forced to memorize times tables.  When I worked at the Renn Faire up in Wisconsin one weekend with my friend Heloise, we had to make change for people using math in our heads.  To do a research paper, you had to go to the library and look at physical books.  You wrote your paper in longhand.  Typing up the paper took forever because it was on a typewriter, so if you decided to move a paragraph you had to retype the whole thing.  

The point is that we HAD to memorize everything, and finding out information was an enormous pain in the ass.  So memorizing was an essential part of our lives.

So... maybe I need to actually teach my students how to memorize.  It might be worth an hour or two of lecture time to do that.

...this also explains why I get so infuriated at students that are too lazy to look up something themselves on the internet.  When a student emails or texts me to ask something like, "What does gynecomastia mean?" I remember sitting on the floor of the public library with all those f****ng reference books looking up information.  Google definitions yourself, chump!  You have no idea how easy you have it!

Today's Norwegian Vocabulary Word: lillesøster
  Pronounced: (lil-leh-suhs-tehr).
   (Translation: little sister)
Exercise: Use "lillesøster" in a sentence:
Example: Min lillesøster heter Molly.
   (My little sister is named Molly)