There’s this weird phenomenon where you meet someone new and then 1 second later it’s impossible to remember each other’s names.
To be honest, if I didn’t care about them 10 seconds ago, I’m not gonna care about them all of a sudden as if they were my newborn (whom I’d name Genghis (Hahn) so I don’t forget).
But what can I say? It’s impressive, for that exact reason, when someone actually uses your name in conversation without having to say, “Sorry what was your name again? I’m so terrible with names hahahahaha.”
Actually, I think I creeped out my neighbor when I greeted her by her name after having met once before. Well hey, some people won’t appreciate you no matter what you do.
I was able to remember Michelle’s name because of the same thing I did as a 1L: I used a notepad (now my phone) to write down new people’s names so I could keep referring back to them later. Kristina has no clue who I am now, but I remember meeting her on the metro bus on the way to the bonfire in 2010 thanks to that notepad.
Useless information I wish I could forget—I tend to remember the very things I want to forget about the most. But if it’s possible to remember names of people we don’t give a damn about, then it’s possible to remember the foundations (supposedly) for our profession.
One of the themes I advocate here regarding improving is to focus more on “big wins” and needle movers. Not spending an ungodly number of hours exhausting yourself with lectures, flashcard arts and crafts, or memorization.
However, memorizing (or more directly, remembering) is still an unavoidable base requirement for succeeding on your essays and the MBE.
And the fact is, your bar exam requires you to remember a LOT of shit. The typical brain is made for processing data but not so much for forcing discrete information to be inscribed into your memory forever.
Continue reading “Memorizing for the Bar Exam: How to Remember and Recite the Rules”