Thursday, March 20, 2008

When Elaborate Memory Tricks Go Beyond Practicality

I meant to post on this a week or so ago, but time has kept my fingers numb. Since the highscore on the neuro midterm was a 95%, the grades all got bumped so that the high would be 100%. This now gives me an ‘A.’ Sweetness? I think so.

But all this neuro talk made me think about studying for that beast of a midterm. I normally study on my own, but at the beginning of this semester, I studied with one of my better friends for the first biochem exam. We both got ‘A’s and consequently have ritualistically had a ‘pre-test pow-wow’ before all the biochem exams. Since we keep getting A’s, we decided to work our magic on other subjects.. namely neuroanatomy.

Now any of you that have studied for an anatomy-based class know that there is just a bunch of random bullshit to memorize that has no relevance outside of taking up precious brain space. Also when you are talking through all this crap with someone else, it is often difficult to remember anything unless you really associate object with function.

Well, let me tell you gang, we came up with the most elaborate and intricate associations that really worked well. Unfortunately, out of sheer boredom, or mutual creativity, we got waaaay off track.

Le example:

Nystagmus is a disorder often associated with the cerebellum and is characteristic of rapid, and shifty eye-movements.

Yea…sounds interesting right? Maybe…

Well it becomes FAR more interesting when Nystagmus suddenly becomes a mythical creature of urban legend that lives under the dental school. So Nystagmus was once a dental student like anyone of us, but he was caught stealing burs from the bin room in times long since passed and was banished below.

Nystagmus slowly became a mutated freak, forced to eat amalgam and wedjets for all eternity. Nystagmus now wants REVENGE… on any hapless dental student that may trek into his lair. If you ever find yourself in that dark hell, you will know he is getting close because you will see eyes shifting madly all over the place as the icy claw of death envelops nearer.

The only way to defeat nystagmus is with light curers…so go prepared. If you defeat nystagmus, you automatically become an oral surgeon-orthodontist, the greatest of dental specialists.

Yea…this may have taken 5 minutes of time to devise. Sure, no question about nystagmus even showed up on the midterm. But I declare to you know, I will NEVER forget what nystagmus means. Ever.

Now If only we could do this with the 10,000 other random minutia I would be gold for the boards.

Histo test tomorrow…why am I not studying and posting crap? Oh yea, I remember – I AM SICK OF BASIC SCIENCE. As soon as histo ends tomorrow, I must crack open the biochem studying because we have another exam next Wednesday…and it’s over 13 some lectures that are insanely detail-oriented….doh. ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL SPRING BREAK!!! GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!