Why You Should Take A Memorization Class
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Why You Should Take A Memorization Class

Sometimes practice makes perfect, and sometimes flashcards do

Why You Should Take A Memorization Class

We all have techniques to help us memorize things – whether it’s a specific date, a phone number, a few concepts or even chemical reactions. When we first see them, it might seem intimidating to memorize them, let alone take classes that are specifically tailored towards that.

I, too, have taken a few interesting and out-of-the-normal classes during my time at my university. A few of those have been in the classics department—that’s right, one of UW’s most popular VLPA’s. No one sees an 8:30 class worth only 2 credits and thinks, “Whoo, sign me up for the next one!” and I was no exception; however, I needed to get some class to fulfill my VLPA requirement and I had no choice.

I took Classics 101, which is an introduction to Latin and Roman terminology, and Classics 205, which is Bio-scientific vocabulary. I quickly grew to love them both. Not only did I love the format of the classes, which included weekly quizzes and occasional pop quizzes, but learning and memorizing hundreds of bases, suffixes and prefixes quickly started coming naturally to me. I knew that the secret to memorizing so many terms was good old flashcards.

Some people may have old memories of flashcards with addition and subtraction problems from their childhood. I used to dread that when I was little, but my dad would reluctantly still make me do them. I soon trained myself that I would have to make flashcards of my own just like all my teachers said that I would have to back in middle and high school. And I am not talking about the online quizlet cards. I cut up good old index cards and annotate both sides.

Just like all our teacher said, I believe in the fact that the notion of writing something down helps students learn better. No matter what new technology is introduced and catered towards students, I will still stand by this old-fashioned technique and continue making flashcards while my peers are using fancy apps that help consolidate information required to memorize. Catch me with my flashcards if you can.

Not only did I accumulate stacks and stacks of little cuts of paper, I also used them. Just making the flashcards isn’t enough to memorize. To memorize, I continued to use them to create little acronyms and phrases to help me remember random sequences of letters. Freshman year, when I was taking the first classics class, I would attempt to look at my cards each night before bed during that quarter. But now that I am going into my senior year, this second classics class isn’t enough to hold me to that study habit (not to mention that I am taking it during the summer, so my motivation is even lower).

What I looked forward to the most about these classes was the quizzes. I am not the best test taker but I just loved taking those memorization quizzes. Spilling everything I remembered on those pages and moving on was the best feeling. And that’s it, after each quiz, my brain was ready to recycle that previous storage space and make room for new words. Sure, I remembered some of the main phrases for a few months but I wasn’t obligated to do that.

As backwards as that sounds, the best part of memorization classes is simply that—once the class is over, there wasn’t any need to remember that information any longer. I wish I remembered those words now, but luckily I saved my flashcards in case I ever encounter another classics quiz!

Not unless the information you learned is important and relevant and continues to other classes-- like chemical reactions, biologic properties, and organic molecule structures. Well, in that case good luck keeping all that nonsense in your brain!

*I think that memorizing facts, names and terms is important but not actually as useful as understanding and connecting concepts. It’s the application that’s important in secondary education, not the identification!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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