Tuesday, December 26, 2006


THE CLASSICAL ROOM SYSTEMBefore moving on to two of the more major Peg systems, youshall have a light and easy day's work with a simple little Roomsystem.In the section dealing with the history of memory, I men-tioned that the Romans accepted without question the theore-tical ideas of memory introduced by the Greeks. I added thatone of their major contributions was the introduction anddevelopment of memory systems.One oftheir most popular systems made use of objects in aroom. Such a system is easily constructed. Try to imagine anenormous room with a door. Now fill this room with as manyitems offurniture and other objects as you wish—each item offurniture will serve as a link word. Don't make a mentalrubbish-dump of it, though! Your objects should be veryprecisely ordered.For example, you may decide to start on the immediate rightofthe door as you enter the room, placing there a finely carvedcoffee-table, on which you might put anything from a statue toan attractive lamp. Next to this you could have an antiquesofa, and so on.You can see that the possibilities are almost limitless—butmake sure that your objects are memorisable and that you cankeep them mentally placed in the right order.How is such a system used? When you are given a list ofobjects you wish to remember in order (it being not necessaryto remember reverse, random, or numerical order), you simplyassociate the items to be remembered with the objects in yourroom. Suppose, for instance, that your first three items were'oil', 'insect', and 'girl'. Using the examples given, the oil couldbe imagined flowing all over the coffee table, the insect couldbe enlarged and perched on top of the statue or could beflying around the lamp, and the girl could be draped seduct-ively on the sofa!The advantage ofthis system is that it is entirely your own,that the room may be as large as you wish, may have as manywalls as you care to imagine, and may contain a great numberof memory-peg objects.On the blank page provided here you should now constructyour own room, selecting the shape you feel is best, and thenfinally printing in the objects with which you are going tofurnish it.When you have completed this task, take a number ofmental walks around the room until you are completelyfamiliar with the order and arrangement ofthings. As with theprevious memory systems, practise alone and with friends,until your system is firmly established.In the next chapter I shall be introducing the Alphabetsystem, which will enable you to remember more than 20items.

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