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Old 12-05-2005, 07:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
Insane
 
Location: bangor pa
learning a lesson.

So in highschool i didnt learn much, and i dont think it was so much because i didnt want to.... but i dont know how i learn.

I did a search trying to see if anyone posted about this yet, and i didn't see any, so please forgive me if this has been done before.


How do you learn? what do you do, do you take vitamins..... ect anything that helps you learn / rember things better. (no ginko)
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Old 12-05-2005, 07:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Location: Oregon
There are many, many books out there that deal with the topic of learning styles. If you're truly interested in learning how you learn, reading one of these books can be very helpful.

Personally, we underwent learning style testing in the 9th grade to make us more aware of how we learned and how we could become better students by looking to learn things through the methods that worked best for us (this was also extremely valuable information to our teachers as well). I, for instance, am a visual learner. I learn best by being shown something, be it a diagram, a picture, an actual example, or a text description. In college, I used this knowledge to know that since I wasn't an auditory learner, I would always have to take notes. Taking notes helped me SEE what the professor was saying--and I was a very successful student, so it must have worked to some extent.

I'm sure one of the teachers here could recommend a book for you to read...my dad has attempted to get me to read several of them over the years, but I figure over the course of my Master's program and my eventual professional career I'll have to read lots of them. Yay.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can train your mind to do anything.

Get a book and do the exercises. They will seem alien at first. You will tell yourself that you mind simply doesn't work that way. This is true, but you can train it and it's actually not all that difficult just don't expect results to come in weeks. Keep at it steadily and you will get results.
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is a glimpse of how I make myself learn stuff. First I just say something inside my head and visualize the letters. Or I force myself to visualize a concept. Like when studying for genetics, primase creates DNA primers, so I just visualize two blobs that are "primers". Now I have some kind of visual image or emotion associated with "primase", see what I mean? So I can see the word "primase" and I'll instantly visualize those two blobs upon which the DNA strand will be built. This is a very basic example, but maybe try creating mental images to associate with everything. Try finding patterns too. For example, I really like what my genetics prof told us to remember which is that thymine, cytosine and uracyl (uracil is intentionally misspelled) are pyrimidines. The trick to remember this is that they all have a "y" in them. It's really a very simple "pattern" if you will. So try that, try looking for patterns to remember stuff as well.

Last edited by Stiltzkin; 12-05-2005 at 08:40 PM..
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Old 12-05-2005, 08:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Upper Michigan
Repetition is the key to learning. That's what was drummed into me during college Elementary Education classes.

Also the more senses you involve in learning the better you'll remember things. For example: when I had to learn the names of the bones in the body for biology, I wrote all the names down on little bits of paper. Then I placed them face down on a printout I found of the human skeleton. Then I went through and guessed the names, flipped over each paper and checked myself. That method involved: Tactile learning - I WROTE the names, I TOUCHED and flipped over the pieces. Oral learning - I SAID the names each time when I guessed and then again when I checked myself. Auditory - I HEARD myself saying the names each time. Visual Learning - I was seeing the names and their corresponding positions in the body.
The more senses that you can use to learn the quicker and more solidly you'll learn things. I learned the names of the bones of the body 14 years ago and though I'm a little rusty I can remember nearly all of them.
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Old 12-05-2005, 09:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Stiltzkin's descprition is very good. At first it seems cumbersome and requires allot of concentration but as you do it more and more it becomes second nature and starts dropping off your concious map. The key though, is to expriment with various learning processes. Refine the method.

And Raenna's statment is partially true. The real key to memory is to anchor concepts in your mind so they can be accessed easilly. I used to try to memorize names by just repeating them over and over again. The minute my mind got distracted the name is nowhere to be found. Yet your mind doesn't forget, it just drops that information into some random cabinet. That's why you gota label it, imprint it so you can find it easilly.

Here is a cool example.

I recently came up with a neat method for remembering little things during the day. What I do is take a fact I will need later and create an icon akin to one you would find on your desktop. I then place it in the top left corner of my mental screen. Thoughout the day I check up there to see if any Icons are around. For example two people called about my friend today who just moved and changed his number. To remember this and pass on the messages I put up an icon of [2 + (phonesign)] up in the corner of my mind.

The reason this works is because it creates an anchor for my memories. Just like some song may remind you of a past love. Now you gota figure out if you are a kinesthetic, visual or autditory person. If you are auditory, using notes or melodies might work better then visual icons; or use feelings/textures if you are kinesthetic.

I came up with this all by myself. I works great for me, but there are books out there with many more ideas that might work better for you.

I hope this encourages you to try.
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Old 12-05-2005, 09:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Depends what i'm learning. If i'm doing math, then i'll try to understand it. If i'm doing psychology, I focus more on pure memorization.
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I started posting in Politics. It made me learn.
What are you interested in? Do you like art, philosophy, history, math, science? Or do you like Entertainment Tonight? Go into a book store and look for something that you might be intersted in. If you like history and politics, like me, you might want to pick up "The History Of The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire" by Edward Gibbon (I've read the whole series like 12 times through). If you're into literature, you might want to pick up "The Complete Works of William Shakepeare". Let us know what makes you think. Broaden your perspective with the perspectives of others. Always look for proof and facts. Think for yourself. Seek to help yourself and others gain and improve knowledge.
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I doubt this is exactly the kind of response you were looking for, but I just started going to college this fall and had a lot of questions on how to sort through the learning aspect and how I could be successful.

I tend to read the chapter that we're learning about the night before or the morning of, then going to class will cement into your mind the important parts of the lesson and clarify what you didn't quite understand.

It also helps to make sure you understand all of the images in whatever you're reading; if you're preparing for a science class, be sure to know all of the diagrams and how they work. This has helped me tremendously in figuring out my Atmospheric Science class.

And finally, flash cards. If I can't learn something by reading it and having it stick, I sit there and drill it in with flash cards. Every section's vocabulary, concepts, etc. Just make yourself learn it. It's frustrating, but it's helped me.

Oh yeah, and don't forget acronyms like:

BASMOQ (Baz-mock)
British Columbia
Alberta
Saskatchewan
Manitoba
Ontario
Quebec

It sounds kind of dumb, but if you can associate vocabulary with words or acronym phrases it will help you remember the vocabulary, and the order if it's important.

While this isn't necessarily an explanation on how people learn, but it is an example of how I myself learn.
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Old 12-06-2005, 12:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm a visual learner. I fucking hate having to learn by hearing things, I need to see them. Also, when copying notes down from the blackboard or whiteboard (whichever you use) I always write the "rough" version of it and then after school, I would rewrite the notes in my own words that would make sense to me.
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Old 12-06-2005, 05:02 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What I always find useful (and never get around to doing ) is rewriting things, the act of copying it again means you have to read it, then write it, even if you don't understand it you can often pull it out of your brain at odd times as you have seen it so many times... occasionally your brain takes over and you can rewrite passages word for word without trying (scarily this gets you marks in exams!).
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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There are tons of methods I use. For anything spatial, hands-on is a must for me. Generally hands-on with expert examples will help me through almost anything. I tend to question myself the first time I try something new (say a new calc equation)... but if someone is there to tell me I did it right, or show me what I did wrong, by the second or third time at the latest I understand it. Also, for me UNDERSTANDING is what it's all about. I can memorize an equation for a test... but for it to stick I have to understand what it does and why. If I don't, I'll forget it within weeks of not using it.

Acronyms are huge... FIFO, ROY G BIV, SOH CAH TOA, and so on...

Some things are aided by subliminal learning. I excelled VERY well in German. I credit part of it to listening to modern german music while I slept. I very quickly found myself better able to comprehend spoken german and speak for like a native. I'm about to start trying the same with Chinese and Japanese. We'll see...

Flash cards are great for many topics... but retention will only be as good as your initial effort. Again, flashing a few rounds before a test will be great for that test, but unless you do it every couple of days for 3 or 4 sessions, you probably won't remember it for long. A lot of that is due to the way your brain transfers short term memories to long term and the protein(?) activitity level. Lots of interesting articles about that part in SciAm over the past couple of years.

At any rate, everyone learns a little different, and most people find that different topics require different techniques. Outside of SOH CAH TOA, I can't think of any acronyms that help much in math (for me). Equations are usually raw memory in my case, and doing problem after problem after problem for a few days until it "sticks".
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:48 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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Location: up north
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mantus
Stiltzkin's descprition is very good. At first it seems cumbersome and requires allot of concentration but as you do it more and more it becomes second nature and starts dropping off your concious map. The key though, is to expriment with various learning processes. Refine the method.

And Raenna's statment is partially true. The real key to memory is to anchor concepts in your mind so they can be accessed easilly. I used to try to memorize names by just repeating them over and over again. The minute my mind got distracted the name is nowhere to be found. Yet your mind doesn't forget, it just drops that information into some random cabinet. That's why you gota label it, imprint it so you can find it easilly.

Here is a cool example.

I recently came up with a neat method for remembering little things during the day. What I do is take a fact I will need later and create an icon akin to one you would find on your desktop. I then place it in the top left corner of my mental screen. Thoughout the day I check up there to see if any Icons are around. For example two people called about my friend today who just moved and changed his number. To remember this and pass on the messages I put up an icon of [2 + (phonesign)] up in the corner of my mind.

The reason this works is because it creates an anchor for my memories. Just like some song may remind you of a past love. Now you gota figure out if you are a kinesthetic, visual or autditory person. If you are auditory, using notes or melodies might work better then visual icons; or use feelings/textures if you are kinesthetic.

I came up with this all by myself. I works great for me, but there are books out there with many more ideas that might work better for you.

I hope this encourages you to try.

that's crazy! i do the same exact things!! wow. and it works.
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Old 12-06-2005, 02:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Location: bangor pa
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorade Frost
I doubt this is exactly the kind of response you were looking for, but I just started going to college this fall and had a lot of questions on how to sort through the learning aspect and how I could be successful.
actually thats the reason im wondering this.i want to attend college, but was never any good at learning.

when i read i start to skip around like its boring...even if im intrested. if anything moves or somene stats talking in the background i cannot concentrait. writing and listening is the hardest part for me. I want a better job than what i have and im ready to make the leap ( curently make 11 an hr with blecross blue sheild, no payment twards the cverage,... just a copay for doctors and drugs)
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Old 12-06-2005, 09:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
lascivious
 
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Concentration, much like everything in the mind, is a skill you have to develop. If you keep at it you will see results rather quickly.

There are so many exercises out there, read some books, experiment, see what works for you. The important thing is to TRY. You will get results and be amazed by what you brain can do. My advice is to start as soon as possible. This won't happen in a day, the mind is a muscle, you have to train it. The only difference is that you don't "feel the burn". Early on every exercise seems empty and pointless but then one day you'll be like "HEY! I remember that! Where did that come from?". Trust me you won't have to wait long.

So get goin

Here are a few methods I use:

- Make a special study space. For example I can't do anything serious on my bed because it makes me sleepy. Nor can I concentrate around my computer because I have a compulsion to check out the forums/e-mail and jazz like that. I actually have a "thinking" chair in my living room, a relaxation corner and the kitchen table is my studdy area.

- Create a "study" mood for yourself. Think back to a moment when you were really intrested and excited about something, get in a focused state of mind. Then think of a song, an image, a texture or make a unique gesture. Repeat this several times, this anchors whatever it is you thought or did to that mood. Then everytime you are about to study, get yourself in that mood and do your anchor. Eventually, doing the anchor should put you in that state of mind without having to concentrate on getting there.

- Learn to stop those interupting thoughts. Anytime some random thought pops into my head fold it up and toss it in my uper left corner, which is an earea where things to do later go. This works for me because most thoughts are intresting and my mind starts acting like a child. "But I wan't to think about this NOW!" Telling it that it's important but this isn't the time sort of tricks it into getting back on track. This is yet another little trick I thought of by myself.

OK, cheers
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Old 12-06-2005, 09:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have a terrible memory, so I have trouble retaining information. My solution is to spend countless hours studying. I usually spend 3-8 hours a day for a week studying before a test. It sucks, but I have B average, so I think it's been working pretty well.
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