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Summaries Aid Recall

You may read a text and understand it, but in the end you recall maddeningly little. Why? Because many study approaches ignore how human memory works, and just what goes into transferring "memory items" of various sorts into the LTM (Long Term Memory). (see Schunk 2012)

To understand and recall ar two different things and call for different adaptations, with due consideration to each. The British psychologist Tony Buzan and memory researchers have shown that understanding and remembering operate differently. A study is good when content is put into the Long Term Memory (LTM). It can be done in different ways. Interest, overlearning, and repetitions (memorisations), and practical use are all helpful.

Also, optimal study sessions may be about 20-25 minutes, followed by pauses of 5-10 minutes, and/or sleep. Pauses need to be integrated in a tolerable way of study, for new content is integrated with old content then. (Buzan 201xx, xx

You can build on organised study sessions

We adapt our reading to the material at hand and much else surrounding it and us. Some textbooks use introductions, headings, in-text summaries and end summaries to show how some ideas are sorted. In a preface it may be explained how the text is organised, and what features are included to enhance learning. In some textbooks, each major section within the chapters begin with a short preview of what is in it. Such previews are termed advance organisers. Graphical features are used too.

Getting a first overview by browsing the headings, making use of the standard features that are there, and the summaries if any, are standard features when we approach the material in textbooks. Apt figures too may assist learning.

Also, learning is helped by mental association "pegs." (Smith et al 2003, ix-x; Buzan and Buzan 2010, 20-21)

Much unsound and conform schooling works against learning interests by setting grades, comparing students, punishments, nervous strain, and menial groups.

It is essential never to make light of or disregard the individuals at stake; their families and rooting, including hereditary fitnesses, It is often a good idea to blend and cultivate the best.

Learning faster and better and recalling more and better is what learning strategies fit for lower levels of learning are about. They help a good foundation in the realm of learning. Above them are higher ways of learning. [Learning taxonomy and mastery learning]

Learn to evaluate (judge) well, emulate if it pays well, and play safe. So look before you leap.

By learning key words and memorising them, much of the content they were taken from, is made to sit. You can also knit some of the keys together to form strings of thought, lovely acronyms too.

"The shorter the better" tends to work for study notes if they are duly memorised. There is a knack to it. A sweet and short phrase is usually easier to learn and recall than a longwinded one. There is also room for arranging items in special ways in addition.

Poetic elements in the content or notes help recall too. Hovering mental images may also be fit, since mind-images are dominant features in some sorts of memories (- it is different with auditive memories, for example tunes). Imagery forms part of poetic expressions. Vivid mental images are related to poetry in itself. Terseness is part of some poetic ways of expression.


Conform Enough Facades ☼

1. Conform facades may be practical

Conform facades may be of service to many, but it depends on what sort of conformity that is called for or preferred by all around you. Adhering to suitable simplicity and all right conformity may go well for a while, but perhaps not go very far where we are.

Abraham Maslow, Carl Jung, and Carl Rogers think that individuation and similar is good. It means getting unique, one of a kind, and as such different. Being markedly different from others can require sound bulwarking too in troubled times; while being only slightly different may pass. In deviating from a flock, protect yourself or pay the price. Conform ways and looks appear to shield or help many. Some who deviate in nice, suitable ways for individualised attainments and yet succeed, may say you need boldness for it.

Art is made by assembling chosen items and composing them somehow. Artistry can develop on top of basic skills. We should enjoy that. A wider understanding of art is: Art is something that is presented as art. Just that. Marcel Duchamp's landmark "Fountain" is a fine example of it. (WP, "Fountain (Duchamp)"

Brightness (inherent intelligence) could thrive, be fostered and eventually rise on top of well selected, assembled and composed items. It can likewise help one's fare in life to be sachlich (realistic, factual, matter-of-fact, impartial, straightforward, sober, objective, unbiased) and eminently practical. However, but much depends on one's associates and conditions too, among other things. To be bulwarked may strengthen a lot.

There are books written on how to cite one's sources with at least a minimum of success, and other quite standardised ways of presenting this and that too. Careful, abbreviated renditions can make even scientific presentation easy to grasp. An easy, convenient grasp is in part what such as Plain English aspires to. (Cutts 2013)

Often do as courtesy and professionalism permits. But do not look too smart, cautions a Norse teaching poem Havamal. How much is "too much of a thing"? It depends. A yardstick or more are needed too, as it hardly pays to overstretch or exaggerate wildly. Just be bold enough to count for something.

What about getting bold enough to be a humorist and "unionist"? To get a mate may call for an amount of boldness too, and not just beer and booze. What is more, science and many forms of humour can have fusion (bringing together) two different planes of reference in common, as Arthur Koestler shows in The Act of Creation (1967). He has also written much on humour in Encyclopaedia Britannica. (Koestler 1967; EB)

Consider a Gestalt axiom too: "The whole is more than the sum of its parts," and "There is nothing so practical as a good theory," as Kurt Lewin states. (in Greenberg et al. 2015, 16).

The art of learning well is many-sided. For example, the art of being a non-talkative man for most part comes with being well married, if not earlier. At least when it comes to intimate encounters. And from that there is the art of listening too, and adding "Erh, Mmm" and such things to what the other tells. A woman often prefers taciturn and practical handling in delicate matters.

The Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess explores sachlichkeit in his book En del elementære logiske emner. He shows how certain renditions may be biased, slanting, unfair. He advocates mature fairness. Tony Buzan too has set up Sachlichkeit items in one of his books. Naess and Buzan offer help against being indoctrinated. [Being sachlich]

It could help assimilation (learning) if we peel off verbiage to ensure more proficient tools for learning. The brothers Buzan show that for recall, about ninety percent of the text may not be needed for good recall work, which is by significant words and phrases - also called key words. Structures or links between some of them help further.

Those artists, businessmen or orgy makers that love excellence for its own sake, may learn handy ways that ride on top of conventionalised ones.

Irwin D. Yalom writes in The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy (2005) "What if some of the changes in the field do not represent advances but, instead, retrogression? (Yalom 2005, xi).

His way of looking sharply into such matters is very much like going for key words and key phrases:

Separate "front" from "core" . . . The front consists of the trappings, the form, the techniques, the specialized language, and the aura surrounding each of the ideological schools; the core consists of those aspects of the experience that are intrinsic . . . that is, the bare-boned mechanisms . . . . (Yalom 2005, xii-xiii)

2. A measure of conformity may help survival

Stray sayings may enlighten a lot: carefully "stringed" they may work even better. (3)

The works that are well liked by most people, tend to be only average. The best works may not be preferred by many, yet the very best things and standards may be the works of geniuses. And these points tie in well with the curve of distribution, the Gauss curve, also called the Bell curve. It is well worth some thought in this light also: Maslow finds plus deviants to be most worthwhile folks anyway - So although some forms of conformity ensure survival in a group of people and cult, conform manners, insights and ways of doing things may not be best, all in all. This may bring to mind some lines from the Dao De Jing's chapter 17:

The best of ancient kings were in their kingdoms hardly known;
Next the patriarchs, loved and widely praised.
Next again those the people feared.
Last come those whose abuse they endured . . .
What care the ancients took with every word.

Roberts 2001, 66

Again, it could be wise to suspect that "loved and widely praised" suggests average, and that the best lovers, writers and rulers may not be recognised as such too. As for students, try to be good, but be soundly protected too. Footnotes may not be a solve-all. Thus, in line with the Bell Curve (a curve or statistical distribution), Abraham Maslow suggest that there are three main categories in a group of people or fares and so on:

  • Bad deviants;
  • Conform people. Take into account there is very bad conformity; bad conformit; so-so conformity, good and ennobling conformity; and very good and upright conformity too. Parts are found to mix.
  • Plus-deviants. Many of them may have an artistic flair. (Maslow 1987, Chap. 11; cf. Sirnes 1968, Chap. 1)

Occam's razor (or Ockham's razor) is a principle that is applied if there are two explanations for something. The one that requires the least speculation is preferable, because it builds on less assumptions. From this, like to study the simplest of two competing theories. (EB "Occam's razor")

In tune with this: Careful modifications of abstracts may throw light on the matter at hand.

3. "Haloed" sources help some, regardless of content

Proverbs may help more than "haloed sayings" of the famous people. To be carefully guarded in other ways that speaking figuratively or in roundabout ways is also scholarly. (5)

To fuse formerly isolated observations or sayings into one can be compared to bringing forth a hybrid plant. It stands there in its own right at last, in the form of an abstract or modified whole on top of various sources. ✪ 

So: Sound measure is treasure. There is also much to learn in life. While conform study ways and ways of writing may suit us for a long time, it shows up that people also develop individual ways of doing things. In writing, some manage to write poetry - maybe not uplifting poetry, but still . . .

From Poetry for Dummies:

Suppose you invented a way to concentrate all the best things people ever thought and felt into a very few words. And suppose you did something to those words to make them pleasant, beautiful, unforgettable, and moving. Suppose this invention could get people to notice more of their own lives, sharpen their awareness, pay attention to things they'd never really considered before. Suppose it could make their lives – and them – better.

You'd really have something there. (The Poetry Center and John Timpane with Maureen Watts, 2001, 1).


Learning, keynotes, abstracts, study tips, study skills, Literature  

Addonizio, Kim, and Dorinanna Laux. 1997. The Poet's Companion: A Guide to the Pleasures of Writing Poetry. London: W. W. Norton and Co.

Buzan, Tony. Buzan's Study Skills: Mind Maps, Memory Techniques, Speed Reading and More! Harlow, UK: Pearson Education, 2011.

Buzan, Tony. Use Your Head. Harlow: BBC Active / Pearson, 2010.

Buzan, Tony, and Barry Buzan. 2010. The Mind Map Book: Unlock Your Creativity, Boost Your Memory, Change Your Life. Harlow: BBC Active / Pearson.

Cook, Claire Kehrwald. 1985. The MLA's Line by Line: How to Edit Your Own Writing. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Cutts, Martin. 2013. Oxford Guide to Plain English. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Greenberg, Jeff, Toni Schmader, Jamie Arndt, and Mark Landau. 2015. Social Psychology: The Science of Everyday Life. New York: Worth Publishers.

Hakutani, Yoshinobu. Haiku and Modernist Poetics. New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2009.

Higginson, William J., with Penny Harter. The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985.

Koestler, Arthur. The Act of Creation. New York: Dell, 1967.

Lennard, John. 2005. The Poetry Handbook A Guide to Reading Poetry for Pleasure and Practical Criticism. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Lipson, Charles. 2006. Cite Right: A Quick Guide to Citation Styles – MLA, APA, Chicago, the Sciences, Professions, and More. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Livingston, Myra Cohn. 1991. Poem-Making: Ways to Begin Writing Poetry. New York: Charlotte Zolotov / HarperCollins.

Mandel, Oscar. 1998. Fundamentals of the Art of Poetry. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.

Maslow, Abraham. 1987. Motivation and Personality. 3rd ed. New York, HarperCollins.

Modern Language Association. 2016. MLA Handbook. 8th ed. New York: The Modern Language Association of America. -- Addressed primarily to secondary-school and undergraduate college and university teachers and students.

Naess, Arne. 1961. En del elementære logiske emner. 9th ed. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget.

Pears, Richard, and Graham Shields. 2008. Cite Them Right: The Essential Referencing Guide. New ed. Whickham, Newcastle upon Thyne: Pear Tree Books.

The Poetry Center and John Timpane with Maureen Watts, 2001. Poetry for Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing.

Roberts, Moss, tr. 2001. Dao De Jing: The Book of the Way. Laozi. London: University of California Press.

Schunk, Dale. 2012. Learning Theories. An Educational Perspective. 6th ed. Boston, MA: Pearson Education.

Smith, Carolyn D., ed, et al. Hilgard's Introduction to Psychology. 14th ed. Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth, 2003.

Sirnes, Tollak. 1968. - at vi skal elske hverandre. Oslo: Gyldendal.

The University of Chicago Press. 2010. The Chicago Manual of Style. 16th ed. London: The University of Chicago Press. -- The 17th edition is of 2017.

Whitworth, John. 2006. Writing Poetry. 2nd ed. London: A and C Black.

Yalom, Irvin, with Molyn Leszcz. 2005. The Theory and Practice of Group Psychotherapy. New York: Basic Books.

Harvesting the hay

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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