Is Your Memory As Strong As a Sixth-Grader?

President Barack Obama was a law professor at the University of Chicago for
12-years (1992-2004). He was a Senior Lecturer, on the faculty as a part-time professor, specializing in constitutional law.

He was asked to teach full-time, but his law practice and work as an Illinois state Senator, and later U.S. Senator, caused him to decline the promotion. Professor Obama had a reputation as a lively lecturer with an almost photographic memory
for law citations.

Fact: he uses a baby-easy memory strategy that instantly associates (links) two unrelated pairs of words. These simple cues (triggers) make it appear the 44th President has a photograph memory. So reports Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary.

Personally I like Gibbs because he is overweight, and esteem the President for his special intellectual property, which brings us to Obama’s secret memory strategy.

Fact: did you know that John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert F. Kennedy
studied rapid reading at Johns Hopkins University under professor Elton Y.
Mears? They traveled from D.C. to Baltimore every Tuesday for the night class
8:30 pm to 10:30 pm while JFK was sitting in the U.S. Senate in 1954.

The class was called – How to Read Better And Faster.

President Kennedy told Evelyn Wood (1907-1995) creator of speed reading, he learned the trick of remembering names (critical for a U.S. Senator) by the strategy of associating a joke with each new name.

He still remembered professor Mears from John Hopkins University by the mental image of Elvis (Elton Y.), and the pun, “Dr. Mears has Big-Ears.”

He called Evelyn to the White House to teach his White House staff to speed read.

Play This Game And Look Like a Genius

Examples: you are reading or listening to a substantive lecture and want to remember Key-Words in long-term memory.

a) Three/Computers
b) Cow/Bed
c) Constitution/$100
d) Marketing/Beard
e) Dieting/Death
f) Non-conscious/Alzheimer
In a) Three/Computers: mentally visualize a Redwood Tree with computers
hanging off the branches instead of leaves. What does a Redwood Tree have
to do with the number Three (3)? In Brooklyn many of us still pronounce the number ‘Three’ as T-R-E-E.

There was even a book and movie called “A Three Grows In Brooklyn”,
sorry – “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn”. Google it.


Please pay close attention: you hold the visualization of the Three/Computers
for a count of one-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand.
This creates an Engram – a memory trace in your cerebral cortex.


Last thing to imprint the Three/Computers for long-term memory:
Think or whisper aloud a personal comment about Three/Computers.
Something like, “Native Brooklynites dentalize and say Tree-for-Three.”


You have three (3) things going for you: first, brain visualization,
second, a mind-association cue (link), and last, a Verbalization (by you).
Your comment is important because your subconscious (non-conscious mind)
pays primary attention to your conscious voice. You’re first in the hierarchy.

If you say it, it must be true for purposes of storing for memory.

So What

You have focused your Attention and Concentration, and used both left and right hemispheres in a learning partnership. Get this: every time you think
of the word, Tree, your left-brain will trigger the picture of the Redwood
and the word – Three.

Your hippocampus (long-term memory) will always drag along how you physically linked the two-ideas, Three/Computers.

Your right-brain will instantly prompt you with a visual cue of Computers
instead of leaves hanging from the branches. You can stand on your head
and spit nickels but you will always associate and remember the silly link
between the two ideas, Three/Computers.

Test: Remembering Unrelated Pairs of Words

What the secret again? Visualize a ridiculous connection between the two unrelated key words. How? Mentally weave a silly story or pun joining the two ideas in your mind’s eye (imagination) as a picture or mental-movie.

Examples: out-of-proportion (see a 5-foot banana sleeping in a bed); substitution: see a dog “me-owing” to be let out. Use anything to link the two unrelated ideas you find humorous. Use your senses: how does it smell, feel, taste etc. You effort locks the two-ideas together for eternity.

Hold the image for three-seconds to make an Engram (memory-trace).

Make a sarcastic, irrelevant, wiseass comment to yourself about the linking. When you analyze an association it sticks in your mind like chewing gum to your shoe. You are involving your Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic gross senses in seeing,
hearing and touch (typing) the key-words.


We teach this linking system of unrelated terms to sixth-graders. They “get-it”
in five-minutes because they make it a G-A-M-E, not education. Right now,
use your imagination to link Constitution/$100 in a nonsensical picture.

See: Benny Franklin (on the $100 bill) printing the first bills in Philadelphia
and wrapping each one in a copy of the U.S. Constitution. Can you see Benny
sticking a few $100 bills and Constitutions in his back pocket? He was keeping some samples just-for-fun. “I seen me opportunities and I took ‘em.”

Did you know he signed both the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the U.S. Constitution in 1787?

Benny also signed the Treaty of Alliance with France, 1778, and the Treaty of
Peace between England, France and the U.S. in 1782. He was the only citizen
to sign all four documents.

Would you have a competitive advantage in your career if you could read-and-
remember three (3) books, articles and reports, while your peers could hardly
finish one? Contact us for a free (no strings attached) speed reading report
to give you the competitive edge in getting promotions.

See ya,

copyright 2010 H. Bernard Wechsler

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by Barron's.
Business partner of Evelyn Wood (1907-1995) creator of speed reading.
Graduating 2-million including the White House staffs of four U.S.
Presidents: Kennedy-Johnson-Nixon-Carter.