A student asked me today about the Palace of Memory technique:
“It feels like we have to memorize things two different ways. We have to store stuff in the Palace of Memory, and we have to do it the regular way, too, to have access to the information in the short term.”
“It takes a little time to build the Palace of Memory. At a minimum, it will take you six to eight weeks to really become proficient at it to the point where you can store information reliably and recall it. I’m less concerned with your ability to recall data now, than I am in helping you become proficient at storing information in six weeks.
There were further questions and concerns, but I tried to assuage the underlying worry:
Look, knowing which tribes lived where and when, or their specific life-ways, or their names or specific histories, is really just material to practice on. If you can make it stick in your Palace of Memory, great. But ultimately, the goal is to make it possible for you to memorize anything and everything you need to – for high school, for college, for law school or med school or whatever comes next. Practice the skill, and the ability will develop.