Fresh Ideas about Studying!
Fresh Ideas about Studying!
On Wednesday, September 14, Learning Specialist, Lyam Christopher, was a delightful addition to the “Here’s the Scoop” series. Mr. Christopher shared ideas for calming anxieties with breathing exercises and increasing memory functions by using word associations. Christopher shared his first-hand experiences learning to breathe in a calming manner, as a result of his practice of free diving.
Breathing exercises are always useful for controlling the flow of air in and out of the lungs. The benefit is a reduction in stress. Christopher encouraged audience, consisting of half faculty/staff and half students, participation by facilitating the practice of inhaling and exhaling. The idea was to inhale and hold for four seconds, then exhale, with the hissing sound of a snake, for eight seconds. The audience repeated this exercise several times.
Christopher also shared two different approaches for better study skills. Each strategy depends on whether studying facts and information in short or long narratives.
When sentences and/or phrases contain important information to be retained, word associations help in the process. Christopher presented a strategy he described with an acronym: WOH or WORDS, OBJECTS, HILARITY (including humor with a SHOCK VALUE). Christopher again engaged the crowd with an exercise.
Using the sentence, “Henri Becquerel invented radium in 1896,” the audience was asked to determine the hardest word to remember. In this example, the audience agreed upon the surname of the inventor, Becquerel. After identifying the word, the audience was challenged to think about some object which comes to mind regarding the word. This elicited several responses, including one suggesting the object, cheese, because “béchamel” sauce is associated with cheese and the name sounds like “béchamel.” The “hilarious” is left to the imagination. Christopher’s second example about word associations elicited responses about throwing scalpels at people in a court room!
When studying and attempting to retain information in longer narratives, another suggested strategy is the List Method. The audience discovered the benefits of this approach by creating a “list” from a narrative about Mark Twain’s tragedies in life. By reading the narrative and creating a list of the tragedies, the reader is able to determine the number of items in the list, or, the number of tragedies in Twain’s life. Studying with this number in mind provides a benchmark, in order to be certain all the tragedies are studied, should there ever be a quiz or exam asking questions about the tragedies.
Overall, the presentation was interesting and informative. Could a side benefit of learning the value of word associations be to think about “hilarious” gothic and macabre stories of shock value, just in time for Halloween? WOH there, diver, you forgot your béchamel sauce!
Submitted by Doug Cornwell