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Thread: Long term rote memory recall

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Long term rote memory recall

    Someone just asked me who was the 15th American President. I happened to know that Honest Abe was 16th Pres. and I just had to go one entry earlier on my "Chronological List of Presidents Memory File" to know it was James Buchanan. I could, however, also name the 6th, 17th, 22nd, 33rd, or any other number you care to name President by reciting the list I had to memorize for a 9th grade social studies class. I was a little annoyed at the assignment back then but can't tell you how many times it's come in handy since for placing various administrations in their proper historical chronology and context. Thing is, I only have them memorized up to Carter (remember I did this in 1978) and after that I'm forced to 'manually' recall who the Presidents were (by visualising them) in sequence afterwards. It's quite doofy because I can recite Washington to Carter at high speed in about 15 seconds and it takes me about that long to name the five who follow!

    There are many things we learn by rote at school age: the alphabet, multiplication table, certain famous speeches or literary passages, the preamble to the Constitution, lists of prepositions, equations/formulae, etc. Some are quite useful, some less so, and yet others qualify as little more than personal oddities (e.g. I still remember my locker number and combination from 7th grade - locker #1221 and the combo was 43-45-17! Can't recall a single combination thereafter but that one was seared in by rote!) A coworker can recite the 50 states alphabetically - I can recite them too but not alphabetically. I have to visualize a map and start from one coast and work the other way spacially.

    What lists, speeches, ancient phone numbers, addresses, lists of kings, or other unusual things have you committed to rote memory? Anyone capable of remarkable memory feats (e.g. remember all the dialogue they had from a play in 12th grade)?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    Memory

    How to spell antidisestablishmentarianism.
    WALSTIB

  3. #3
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    What lists, speeches, ancient phone numbers, addresses, lists of kings, or other unusual things have you committed to rote memory? Anyone capable of remarkable memory feats (e.g. remember all the dialogue they had from a play in 12th grade)?

    Funny you should mention that... I was in a couple of plays in high school. For one of our "Night of One Acts" I was in Satre's No Exit, in which I played Garcin. I still remember most of my lines from that play. For some reason it stuck with me more than the others. "Hell is... other people!"

    I also played Sampson in Romeo & Juliet in high school and remember several of those lines.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Moi:
    "Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
    And revolving at 900 miles per hour..."

    (took a film course in 1976, and one subject was Monty Python's The Meaning of Life)

    Garrison Keillor does a great bit, singing, in alphabetical order, all the counties in Minnesota.

  5. #5
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Where are my fellow jarheads? Remember these?
    http://www.grunt.com/scuttlebutt/cor.../genorders.asp
    I confess I needed to look at the list to recall which order # corresponded with which order, but never forgot the most important one - the 5th (Quittin' time! yabba dabba doo!)

  6. #6
    NIMBY asshatterer Plus Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    .......or other unusual things have you committed to rote memory? ....
    I was the catcher on our high school baseball team. During my junior year, I took a foul tip to my cajones. Even though I was wearing a cup, it's not something easily forgotten.

  7. #7
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I was the catcher on our high school baseball team. During my junior year, I took a foul tip to my cajones. Even though I was wearing a cup, it's not something easily forgotten.
    Unless you took 24 hits to the 'nads I doubt that would qualify as rote memory. (still, I wager that single occurance would be an effective reminder)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ha!

    Quote Originally posted by RichmondJake View post
    I was the catcher on our high school baseball team. During my junior year, I took a foul tip to my cajones. Even though I was wearing a cup, it's not something easily forgotten.
    You got off lucky!

    http://www.rbimagazine.com/2008/07/a...left-testicle/

    maybe you can watch the video.....may not be work safe.....
    http://ballhype.com/video/chris_snyder_video_1/
    Skilled Adoxographer

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Fifty-nifty United States from 13 original colonies....

    I still can name every state in alphabetical order.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    I've been out of the Army for nearly 40 years now and still can't forget my ID number. It was probably 30 years before I purged the serial number of my boot camp weapon from the memory banks. Even now, if someone gave me the first few digits, it would probably come back.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Tom R's avatar
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    orders

    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Where are my fellow jarheads? Remember these?
    http://www.grunt.com/scuttlebutt/cor.../genorders.asp
    I confess I needed to look at the list to recall which order # corresponded with which order, but never forgot the most important one - the 5th (Quittin' time! yabba dabba doo!)
    Before I went in the Army (1967) I memorized the Army's version of the general orders. I think there were 10. When I got to basic I found out that they had been revised down to 3. I still use my old RA service number as an internet password. Never forget it.
    WALSTIB

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    Cyburbian Plus
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    AIB Maister's definition link http://www.answers.com/topic/rote I enjoyed the 2nd definition since 1970.

    The sound of surf breaking on the shore
    .
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  13. #13
    Corn Burning Fool giff57's avatar
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    What a (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) is..... also some other mammalian scientific names.
    “As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the State is not far from its fall”
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Drivers License numbers from previous state lived in...its been 27 years and Florida has long numbers.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  15. #15
         
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    Every now and again -- on a really, really good day -- I can almost remember all nine digits of my Social Security number.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Geologic periods of the Paleozoic era based on the mnumonic device "Can Oscar See Down My Pants Pocket?"

    Cambrian
    Ordovician
    Silurian
    Devonian
    Mississippian
    Pennsylvanian
    Permian

  17. #17
    Cyburbian fringe's avatar
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    I often think about geologic time but can't ever grasp it.

    "How solemn is the duty of the Chief of the Fire
    To show forth the greatest of a Scout's obligations...
    To be ever Cheerful, Obedient, and Reverent."

    From the Council Fire speech of Allowat Sakima, the Chief of the Fire, in a Scout initiation ritual. As each of the obligations is named, a candle of the Council Ring is snuffed.

    Sounds like today's oath for any Republican political office candidate.
    Last edited by fringe; 01 Sep 2009 at 5:33 PM. Reason: sp

  18. #18
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Mnemonics

    Quote Originally posted by Otis View post
    Geologic periods of the Paleozoic era based on the mnumonic device "Can Oscar See Down My Pants Pocket?"

    Cambrian
    Ordovician
    Silurian
    Devonian
    Mississippian
    Pennsylvanian
    Permian
    ooooh ooooh and what about that staple of biological classification: "Did King Peter Come Over From Germany, Get Sick + Vomit?"
    Domain
    Kingdom
    Phylum
    Order
    Family
    Genus
    Species
    Variant

  19. #19
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Still remember the phone number when we lived in New Orleans - Twinbrook 5-11-37. Whenever I recall that number this memory goes through my head:

    I am nine years old and I missed my school bus. I am in the teacher's lounge and Coach Meyers asked me my phone number. He had blond hair and a crewcut. He called my mom and told her that he was going to give me a ride home. I sat in the back of his station wagon with his two kids. His daughter was my age and pretty. She had blond hair and no crewcut.

    I remember my parent's phone number and my current phone number. But I do not remember any of the half dozen or so phone number from the time I left my parents home until I got my current phone number.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Wristbones menomic:

    Never Lower Tillie's Pants
    Mother May Come Home

    Saw it in a medical journal probably during the Carter administration. (I am not a doctor.) Can't recall the names of the bones other than "little finger metacarpal" (it's a Michigan thing).

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by fringe View post
    I
    From the Council Fire speech of Allowat Sakima, the Chief of the Fire, in a Scout initiation ritual.
    Sounds like an Order of the Arrow ceremony, right ?

    AIB otterpop I remember my parents phone number as ADams 2 -
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  22. #22
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Anyone manage to remember the Shakespeare soliloquy they were made to memorize in 10th grade (To be or not to be that is the question....) or did anyone have to memorize the Gettysburg address?

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    There is also that great mnemonic device "Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge" for remembering the musical scale.

    I also remember my first credit card number and bank account numbers for some reason, and also my high school locker number and combination. I actually rememebr the combination to every locker I've ever had, as well as every phone number I've ever had (and I've had about 15+ in my lifetime).
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
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    ooooh ooooh and what about that staple of biological classification: "Did King Peter Come Over From Germany, Get Sick + Vomit?"
    Domain
    Kingdom
    Phylum
    Order
    Family
    Genus
    Species
    Variant
    The way I learned it, Variant wasn't included.
    "Do Kings Play Chess On Fine Grained Sand?"

    BTW, you forgot to list "Class".

    A-


  25. #25
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    Moi:
    "Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
    And revolving at 900 miles per hour..."

    (took a film course in 1976, and one subject was Monty Python's The Meaning of Life)

    Garrison Keillor does a great bit, singing, in alphabetical order, all the counties in Minnesota.
    Cues up: The Elements by Tom Lehrer



    Mike

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