Friday, February 10, 2012

Studying in Color

I’m a visual learner, and I like using mnemonic devices to learn terms.

This is called creative girl attempts to fit in to the shoes of an analytical thinker.  

I couldn’t blog yesterday because my brain was attempting to think analytically all day while studying, and I’m not joking.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a photographic memory and I don’t have the ability to just hear a term and know it, which makes it really hard for me to study and memorize straight-up definitions.      

I have to see what I’m studying, which can be a bit difficult when it comes to psychology since it is a study of thought processes.  Basically, thoughts are unseen no matter what, so how am I (a visual learner) supposed to learn what everything means without being able to see it?  

The solution dawned on me last night.

I could draw it.  I ended up making charts, graphs, pictures, tables… all in color.  By drawing them and visually reproducing the facts I memorized them and learned them much quicker.  I also made various mnemonic sayings and analogies for the terms.      

Will thinks I’m ridiculous.  “Why don’t you just say the term for what it is and learn it like that?” 

I probably explained numerous times that I simply can’t do that to save my life.  Even flash cards don’t work very well for me.  When we discussed the meaning of cultural “separation” he gave a very point-blank definition and I went a very roundabout way of explaining how someone was on an island and didn’t want to swim in the water with the rest of the world.  (Or something like that.  The point is, I actually remembered what it meant because of the silly analogy I came up with!)

He just looked at me like I was crazy.

I studied my notes several times through, reviewed my colorful tables and charts, and then called it a night. 

The next morning I woke up and slightly surprised myself with the realization that I remembered a lot of the things I had studied.  I was able to let myself relax during breakfast and laugh a lot.  There’s nothing worse than going into a test with a bad mood burdening you.

There were only a few questions that caused me to second-guess myself.

Otherwise, I felt like a pro.

My crazy learning techniques paid off.

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