Failing Memory or Just Distracted?
December 17, 2012
The most dreaded question of all, "What do you want for the holidays?" Like a deer caught in the headlights, I tend to stare at whoever is asking—confused as to whether I turn and run or take it head on and profess the sad truth that I have no wants for the holiday season. I tend to buy everything I want before anyone else can get to it, even around the holidays.
Now, I should be cautious about saying that there is nothing that I desire to unwrap for the holidays. But when I’m asked to recall items out of my brain at random, I tend to fall flat on my face—so much that I sometimes wonder why my nose isn’t an "inny" nose (if there is such a thing).
I’ve found that this issue of recall memory happens a lot when I play Words with Friends, too. I’m an English major with a writing emphasis. I can spell; I can spell very well (and I can rhyme when I have the time, too), but when it comes to recalling words at random from my memory, I’m at a major loss. My fiancé is always surprised that I fail really hard when it comes to Words with Friends. I even challenged my professor to a friendly match—I don’t really want to talk about it. The score is really sad for me, but granted, he did beat all of my English professors in a Scrabble-a-thon; so I can’t feel too low about the poor state of my recall memory. But when it comes to the physical board game of Scrabble, I have anyone in a five-mile radius beat. I have no clue what the difference is.
So what’s wrong with my memory? Well, probably nothing. The most likely situation would be that after learning a word, my memory process for storing that piece of information for recall later on is disrupted by another memory process task that is occurring in my brain. In other words, I’m doing too much at once to make a difference later on. There is something to meditating and taking things slow once in a while. Or I could be distracted by all of the apps on my phone, but with just the scrabble pieces, I may have a cue. And now that I’m graduating with my degree, I’ll have plenty of time to slow down, sit in silence, and let my brain store what it needs to store.
So the trick, I think, to knowing what I want for the holidays is spending time to think about it without the typical distractions of phone or school work. Something I could really use during these next few days!