Sunday, May 8, 2011

Going Senile?

The other day I took one of my students (an adorable little African American boy with HUGE eyes) out of class for a session. I see around 15-20 kids a day and I don't always remember what I do with each of them- so I asked "Malachai- did we do the caterpillar activity yet?" He laughed and said "We did that last week!" then he continued "But it's ok you forgot! I know why you did! Grownups always forget everything- but kids remember everything!" I laughed- and it was funny how he said it so matter of factly-but thinking about it later I got a little bit scared. I do indeed remember having an incredible memory- whose turn it was in a game, which girl always won davening awards (just because she had a loud voice!) and what we'd learned the previous day. It's true that children have phenomenal memories- I specifically remember a third grade teacher who took it upon herself to teach us various random facts, all the trei-asar, all the shoftim etc. etc. because she said our minds were sharp and our memories were good and we'd be glad to have these facts at our fingertips as adults. (and I am) But are adults THAT impaired in terms of memory compared to children? Could it be that we are more distracted, have more on our plates- more responsibilities, and more worries- that eat at our concentration and prevent us from forming memories in the first place? Am I senile at 24?


  1. I've got a pretty crummy memory in general. My mother, on the other hand, remembers everything. EVERYTHING.

  2. I doubt you're senile at 24, but it is a cute story. You're right though that some things were easier to remember as kids.

  3. I wouldn't say that being so busy prevents us from forming new memories, we're just forced to prioritize what needs to be remembered (hopefully we remember that!) vs. things that can afford to be forgotten. If we were to actively try to remember things, I think your memory would change for the better a bit. Or, "living life in the moment" instead of just trying to get through the task/chore. That would definitely make a difference imho. :)