In previous articles, I have alluded to the idea that we all have our learning style. Some people are more visual learners, others are more auditory, and others are kinesthetic. Visual learners talk fast because they try to describe in their heads everything they picture. Auditory learners are good speakers, singers, or at least they enjoy music maybe more than others do. They speak clearly because they are aware of the sounds they produce. Kinesthetic learners are more attuned to their bodies. They speak slowly and are attuned to how they feel.
Despite these descriptions, you still may not know what type of learner you are. If you are unsure, here is an exercise to help you discover your own style. This way to improve your memory will enhance your ability to remember.
You will need a notebook or word document for the next steps after step 1.
Step 1 –
Read this scenario and imagine you are there:
It is a hot sunny day, and you gaze out the car window as you head to the beach. You ride past the streams of tall grass blowing in the wind between gentle flowing brown streams of bay water. You hear the hum of a boat engine nearby.
As you turn your gaze ahead, you see the curved strip of the bridge and watch it get bigger as you draw close. You feel the tilt of the car as you go over the bridge. You take a deep breath as you inhale the relaxing aroma of salt air. As you land in the street, you see the brilliant white reflected off all the houses with their fish and mermaid décor. You hear the excited chatter of people walking along the street as they carry their chairs and blankets towards the beach. You hear the clunk of chairs and wheels of wagons and beach dollies. You feel so excited to be there you want to jump out of your skin.
You turn on the main street, glance sideways towards the bay and see white, blue, and green sailboats with anchors on the sails for décor. You pass a store that has blue and white Adirondack chairs outside. Above you, there is the chirp of seagulls.
You now turn into the parking lot and scan the vehicles to locate a vacant parking space. There is one left, and you quickly pull in.
Now you get out of your seat. You feel the heat hitting you from head to toe as you leave the cool air-conditioned car and enter the hot air as the heat from the concrete hits you. It envelopes your skin.
You walk to the back of the minivan and open the back hatch. You feel the scorching heat of the handle on your hand. Ouch! You pull out your chairs, umbrella bags, and cart. Then you decide what order to put everything in the car to maximize the space.
In the distance, you hear the gentle but enticing roar of the ocean waves, only to be interrupted by the slam of the door.
You pull your cart with all the beach equipment in it. It seems efficient, as it takes only minimal effort to pull the weight of it. You hear the wheels go over a bump in the concrete and hear the chair legs bump. With each step, you feel the heat of the asphalt envelope your legs.
You enter the pathway with the white sandy dunes. You feel the cart become a little harder to pull as you ascend the hill.
As you reach the top, you see the vast ocean that you imagined. The glassy waves roll, crest and break into an avalanche of white cap and continue their undulation to the beach. One large wave overtakes a smaller wave. It leaves a trail of whitecap as it produces a gentle roar.
The beach is a scintillating splash of colors. The roar of the ocean is louder now, but not loud enough to drown the announcers of a baseball game on a nearby radio or music on an iPod.
You look at the ocean in front of the red and white lifeguard stand with the rowboat next to it. The lifeguard blows the whistle and waves for people to move to the right. You make a mental note of how many bathers are in the water—because this will influence your decision of whether to take a swim or not.
You see many little bodies holding the hands of big bodies in the shallow part. Excitement overtakes you, as you decide to take a swim.
As you descend the hill, you hear a young girl’s voice and see a young lady looking at you with a serious important air about her. She says, “Do you have your beach tags?” You sort through your bag and show her your tag.
Then you continue your descent until you are off the hill and on the beach. Yet the cart does not become easier to pull, as the wheels bump into footprints in the sand. You hear a loud chant, “Ice Cream!” and you see a man pulling a cart. There is a parade of little bodies running towards him, shouting with excited anticipation.
You look at the beach in front of you and see some space. Hooray! You unpack the umbrella, towels, and chairs. You feel the heat of the metal as you pull the chairs out and unfold them. You breathe a sigh as the sunscreen goes on. You say, “Rub it in, rub it in.” It feels cool as it pervades your skin as opposed to the hot sun beating down. You then collapse into the chair.
After ten minutes, your skin feels hot, even with the sunscreen on. It is time to get wet! You walk across the wet sand that feels cool on your feet. The small wave comes up to meet you. Tension overtakes your body as you brace yourself for the initial cold. Even so, you feel the chill hit your feet. Brave soul that you are, you wade out and feel the chill as it goes up your leg to your knees and hip. Then you decide to be brave and dive into a wave. You feel the chills and hyperventilate for a few seconds. But after a few minutes, you ride waves.
First, you look into the other bathers and find a clear path. Yet you hear a scream as another bather knocks a little boy down. You run up to a wave that is about to crest and position yourself. You fall in front of it. Then you feel propelled through the water. It sounds like a continuous splash. The feel of the water lessens as you slow down. Suddenly, there are voices above you. One voice screams, “Get out of the way!” You feel the scrape of sand, shells, and stones on your belly. You lie for a few seconds until a girl’s voice says, “What’s that thing in the water?” You look up and see kids laughing at you.
Step 2 – Quickly put this article down in your browser. Open your word document or notebook. Then write from memory everything that you remember about the article. The idea is to record everything that you remember, not to remember everything. The goal here is to find out which parts of the story you remembered. Don’t be concerned if you don’t remember much; just write what you do.
Step 3 – Now we are going to figure out your learning style by taking an inventory of what you remembered. We will use three letters for this: V, A, and K. Make three columns for each of these letters.
Check V if you remembered:
Brown streams of bay water
A curved strip of the bridge
Vacant parking space
White sandy dunes
See and take in the vast ocean
Scintillating splash of colors
Red and white lifeguard stand
The boat next to it
Little bodies holding the hands of big bodies
See a young lady
See a man pulling a cart
Watch the small wave come up and meet you
Look at the other bathers and find a clear path
Another rider knocks a little boy down
See kids laughing at you
Do not worry if you did not write the details with the same words. If you remember the detail even if you wrote it differently.
Now make a check mark in your book for each of these details if you remembered them:
Hear the hum of a boat engine
Streams of tall grass blowing
Excited chatter of people
Clunk of chairs
Wheels of wagons
The gentle but enticing roar of the ocean
Slam of the door
The sound of the wheels going over the bump
The chair legs bumping
The roar of the ocean, louder now
Announcers of the game on the radio
The clunk of a cart
The roaring sound of one wave overtaking another
Lifeguard blows the whistle
Hear a young girl’s voice
“Do you have your beach tag?”
Kids shouting with excited anticipation
“Rub it in, rub it in”
Hear a scream
Sounds like a continuous splash (while you ride the wave)
Suddenly there are voices above you
“Get out of the way”
“What’s that thing in the water?”
Make a third list of checks in the K section if you remembered:
Feel the tilt of the car
You are so excited to be here
Jump out of your skin
Feel the heat hitting you
Leaving the cool air-conditioned car
Enter the hot air
Envelopes your skin
Heat from the concrete
Feel the scorching heat of the door handle in your hand
Pull out your chairs, umbrella, etc.
Feel the heat of the asphalt envelope your legs
Excitement overtakes you as you decide to take a swim
Cart gets harder to pull through the footprints in the sand
Feel the heat of the metal
Sunscreen feels pleasantly cool
In contrast to the hot sun
It feels great to take the load off your feet
Your skin feels hot, even with the sunscreen on
Walk across the wet sand
(Wet sand) feels cool on your feet
Tension overtakes your body
Brace yourself for the initial cold
Feel the chill as it hits your feet
Dive into a wave
Feel the chill hyperventilate for a few seconds
Fall in front of it (the wave)
Feel yourself propelled by the water
The feel of the water lessens as you slow down
Feel the scrape of sand on your body
Step 4 – Add the Totals for Each Category
V’s out of 30
A’s out of 30
K’s out of 30
Step 5 – Compare Your Scores
If you scored highest in V, then you are a visual learner. If you scored highest in A, you are an auditory learner. And if you scored highest in K, you are a kinesthetic learner.
If you scored highest in more than one category, you may have tendencies for both senses. The next three articles are going to be about how to use your main learning style to improve your memory. There will be an article for visual, another for auditory, and another for kinesthetic. I recommend that you read all three articles and not just the one that addresses your style.
Do not worry if you did not write the details with the same words; what matters most is that you remember the detail, even if you wrote it differently.