Some of my early posts are about my experiences in Little Rock where I lived in 2001. It still irritates me that I can’t find my notes. I called these posts My American Journal because I based them on some notes I had written in a Journal during my 1,5 year stay in Arkansas. I had apparently started on a second book because when I looked through my journal I couldn’t find the really good stuff. We are currently living in our 6 th apartment since we moved back to Norway and things tend to get lost every time we move. I have one more hope. It is possible the journal is in storage in Little Rock because we still have some boxes there.
I wasn’t able to take much part in the conversations, but I observed a lot of interesting things, some of it hilarious. One of the texts I was most looking forward to writing was about how entertaining public transportation can be, specifically the Central Arkansas Transit. I still remember some of the things that happened on the bus, but not details. I want to wait and see if those notes show up later. In the mean time I want to revise some of the posts I have published before, but I’m starting with a memory my friend triggered this weekend.
I vaguely remember different theories about memory from a book on pedagogics I read in college. One of them said that the reason why it can be hard to remember things we have learned is that we have stored so much information, it can be difficult to access it quickly enough. There is too much to sort through. I think this has been used to explain why the brains of elderly seem to slow down, even when they appear to be in good health. They have stored too much information according to this theory.
I liked the idea as a young student. If I don’t remember it’s only because I am so knowledgeable.
I read some other place later about a theory stating that we never forget. Everything we have stored in the brain stays there, but it sometimes strikes me that I store a lot of completely unecessary files. I was reminded of this after something I discussed with a friend of mine through e-mails. We talked about some of the tings we did during my stay in Little Rock, and this is where the completely wasted use of storage space comes in.
We walked on a nice forest path in the Pinnacle Mountain area and we had brought some fruit to eat. We threw the peel some distance away from the path as it would decompose. Someone passed us and remarked on it, but realized that we were not littering. Like I said, why would my brain think I needed this information in the future? My brain could have been focusing on understanding things I read, or reading faster, but for some reason an orange peel left behind in The Natural State is important 14 years later.
Some of the unecessary memories can also be quite amusing; like one day when I was waiting for the bus outside a Kroger store. I had just been there applying for a job and while I waited for the bus, another man showed up. He asked me what time it was, and when I answered he thought I was Irish. It’s hard for me to judge my own accent, but I suspect I have a strong one as I learned English as an adult. We had English from 4 grade, but I wasn’t exactly a straight-A student. I don’t think the alphabet was long enough for me back then. So I’m sure I have a strong accent, but I doubt very much whether I sound like Liam Neeson.
As usual I often end my posts with some serious reflection even if I start with a joke, but I decided to break this up, so there’ll be another post on memory.