Here are some interesting ways that you can learn things quicker, and sharper. Indeed, it attests to the modern theory of “neuroplasticity,” which is very comforting, for even as brain cells die (at least from what I’ve heard) they can re-route easily. Moreover, in the real world, people young and old alike can learn by awesome tricks.
One method is known as the mnemonic. For example, “HOMES” represents the Great Lakes of North America (i.e., Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior). Another is “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally,” namely, the order of math operations, comprising parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. Mnemonics are everywhere, and can even be cleverly invented.
Moreover, an even more powerful memory trick is to associate concepts using a “bridge.” This is known as associative learning, and the method is known as conditioning. In fact, this can be used just as appropriately (and perhaps more so) on behavioral research. You may have heard of Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov’s immortal experiment on the dog that connected a two-step process into one (i.e., the dog no longer needs the powdered meat for a salivation response, as it has been overridden by a bell, which was earlier rung almost simultaneously, and now the bell is sufficient).
To place this concept in the human race, I will give you a few facts I know by using this method (and perhaps any close kin):
-Muhammad, the top Islamic prophet, was born in AD 570. I know this thanks to a Pennsylvania telephone area code. See? That’s the power of association, for Muhammad had nothing to do with phones or Pennsylvania.
-The very date (May 18th) of writing this post in 1980 was when the first “true” eruption of Washington State’s Mt. St. Helens. Its dress rehearsal, a steam eruption, was actually on my birthday (March 27th) that same year. (I was not born until 1988, not to mention I live on the US East Coast).
-When dialing phone numbers (and to help memorize them), I dissect them into the three parts: area code, exchange (the first three digits of the phone number proper), and the last four digits, a number of ways can be useful (no pun intended). Among them are the geometric pattern your finger traverses on the keypad, or comparing actual numeric details such as digit order, etc. Of course, this is the case only in the US, Canada, and most Caribbean islands.
-Same thing with any scholastic procedure, whether through the grades, in college, grad school, whatever, one level is preparing you for the next, often known as a prerequisite.
There are also many reverse cases, wherein knowledge learned elsewhere may have a golden opportunity for application. Especially in fiction.
-A few years ago, on the long-running American TV crime drama “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” (2000-2015) In one scene of an episode I noticed the mention of an opening in the rear eye socket. This right there, shows you that you’ll never know when an application of a previous fact may sneak out at you.
–The Genesis Code, a novel I am trying to read but have been displaced from (as it is with many books) involves a Roman Catholic office in the Vatican, which is a remnant of the atrocious Inquisition many centuries ago.
–Eaters of the Dead, by the late, great Michael Crichton concerns Arab encounters with the Swedish Vikings. (Crichton’s overall style is quite compatible with the scientifically-conscious, including me.)
One more comment I should make is that even if you are encountering the same facts you have before, with knowledge input between then and now, it can truly enrich the original knowledge. Yet, more than anything else, this dynamic concerns Christians and the Bible, especially because its intent is more than information, but transformation. In other words, not just knowledge, but wisdom.
I could go on and on, but, long story short, using your existing knowledge, you can easily enrich and compound on it. And as everyone’s situation is different (e.g., intelligence, age, areas of expertise), be kind to help others depending on their needs. This includes controlling breadth and depth to keep them interested.
“Long live MacGyver”