Thursday, 22 March 2018

Memories are made of this

Part of my repertoire of random odd memories is that I revised for my Greek O-Level ...
<glossary audience="millenials and post millennials">
GCSEs are an amalgam of GCE O-Levels and CSEs (though I bet the official line would involve using  a much longer and nuanced explanation than the bare word  amalgam).
...on Broadstairs beach.
Detail from this site
This is a sufficiently incongruous juxtaposition of ideas for it to stick in my brain. I trotted the memory out again today, and in the process put some flesh on the bones – stuff I hadn't associated with the memory before.
A book I recently read pointed out that when we remember something it is not the event itself that we recall, but our most recent recollection of it. Teachers know this, and keep reminding their charges that revision needs  to be little and often. If you start your revision in week two of a course, you won't go far wrong.
Or, as my Tai Chi teacher's husband says, if you want to commit a movement to memory, practise it before you get home – park the car and do it (if only mentally –  although ideally physically).
Stupidly, I kept no note of the book's title, or even its author (although I do remember that he was an  Argentine...).

First, the dramatis personae: the  name of one participant stuck in my mind  – I don't know why, but I imagine sex may have been a factor (I was 17, and she was a trainee teacher, so Katie George may well have been a PHI [Person of Hormonal Interest]). She was a New Zealander (or Australian?), supporting a world tour with bouts of teaching. In 1968...
<authority type="PPS">
This is an easy one. Forty-odd  years' worth of CVs  have meant that this datum-point  has been  recycled again and again.
... she was working at my old Primary School.

But where did she fit in –  maybe my little sister was there at the ti...? No, the dates don't work. That's when another memory kicked in: my mother (whom saints preserve [and they'd better]), was a dinner lady there, and she had a talent for picking up young waifs and strays.

Now, the date. It was in the middle of a fairly extended exam period, so it must have been late Spring/early Summer – which narrows it down to the Whitsun holiday (as it was in those days; now it's the Late Spring Bank Holiday), probably the Monday (3 June).

So there we have it; the memory gets better and better – although of course the more detail it accumulates the greater the risk of false memory.

Ho hum – I should be revising for my concert on Saturday. Don't miss it.


PS: And here's a clue:
  • Sweet singing in the choir? After a fashion! (8)
Update: 2018.03.23.10:50  – Added inline PPS

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