Review: Where Did I Put…My Memory?
Being the possessor of a notoriously bad memory and a member of a family through which Alzheimer’s streaks like a comet through the night skies, I was anxious to see Where Did I Put…My Memory?, a documentary featured on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Doc Zone several weeks ago. It was comforting to learn that memory loss is a growing epidemic—my family is not alone.
It seems that anyone with a poor memory is notorious among associates, however it’s not always a bad thing. People who are known for their lack of memory power always have built in excuses for any number of things, as long as they remember they supposedly have bad memories. Imagine if you, like Jill Price, could not only remember everything that happened to you, but that you couldn’t forget any of it. Forgetting a few birthdays and appointments now and then seems infinitely preferable to remembering every slight, injury, or insult over the course of one’s lifetime.
Viewers will also meet Alex Kajitani, a California mathematics teacher who was faced with a classroom of disinterested students. He brought math--and all its core concepts—to life with music, earning him the name “The Rappin’ Mathematician,” and making math...well...memorable.
One of the first places visited in Where Did I Put…My Memory? is the World Memory Championships, the very thought of which causes the memory impoverished to hyperventilate. Bob Pridmore, a memory grandmaster, can recall the exact order of 52 playing cards in 26 seconds. I, on the other hand, could recall the names of only two of three pretty models over the course of about a half hour. Given a list of seven or eight words, I managed to retain three.
How’s your memory? Look at this list of ten “simple landmarks” for one minute: Niagara Falls, Big Ben, Grand Canyon, CN Tower, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal, Plains of Abraham, Egyptian Pyramids, Great Wall of China. Then cover them up and see how many you remember. Did you remember them in order? Here’s your score: 1-3, uh-oh; 4-6, not bad, but could use improvement; 7-9, excellent, but you can still improve it. So how did you do? Don’t feel bad if your score wasn’t high; I remembered 5—and one of them wasn’t (technically) on the list! (I also had the advantage of typing them before trying to recall them.)Continued on the next page