Memory Tool as Easy as ABC’s

Some of us are fortunate to have life long friends who are still a part of our lives thanks to social connectivity. One of mine is a brilliant English MA. Recently, she challenged me on Facebook: “What to call it when we have a senior moment and we play the guessing game for a name or place… It begins with a T and then we go through the T words.”

The alphabet, an easy memory tool. ©

The alphabet, an easy memory tool. ©

Memory enhancement tools are invaluable resources for storytellers and those who are aging. One of my favorites is the alphabet. Like my friend I often use the ABC  method of memory prompt, especially for names that are momentarily escaping me. I start with A, then B and continue through the alphabet until the name comes to mind. And it works! Repeatedly. It works almost every time I use it!

Surely something as useful as this already has a name. So I search online. Eminem raps the 313. He talks about the A,B,C’s, “got it down to a T.” How hip and cool would it be if a rapper rapped about memory tools, especially the use of them. While I’m no rap expert, the use of MC (mic controller according to my Urban Dictionary – didn’t I tell you it’s a useful tool?) I am pretty sure he talking about rapping not memory tools.

Evan Carmichael, helper of entrepreneurs, is right on target. Carmichael calls it the ABC Method of Memory Jogging.

Without doubt, Carmichael’s name for the tool is clear and easily understood which is important especially to the age challenged. But StoryDame wants something, short, catchy and T-shirt worthy.

As I ponder this, a picture comes to my mind. In my mind I see Oscar, my miniature Schnauzer. It’s winter 2010. Oscar is eleven years old. His eyes are cloudy and his hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was. He has a health issue common to Schnauzers that has caused a back leg issue. One night at bedtime, he begins pawing at my wood floor. While Schnauzers are well-respected ratters, my first thought is that my baby is losing it mentally.

Oscar observes floor

Is my baby losing it?

A couple of days later, I’m in bed the night before flying out of town. Oscar is at my mother’s in Hot Springs. I am awakened by noises. Instead of rats, three of Little Rock’s finest discover two possums battling over my basement. (Be patient. You’ll hear that story at some point) Oscar wasn’t losing it after all. He was just using his natural talent.

I apply terrier ratting theory and come up with a description, “Running Alphabet To Trigger Eventual Memory” or RATTER. Who would wear that on a T-shirt?

In memory of my faithful, fun & loving friend, fearless guard, loyal companion Oscar, April 19, 1997 – February 3, 2012, I call it “SchnauzerCize.” Will I wear that on a T-shirt! Oh, yeah!

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