The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot!
Sadly, there is a good explanation why the Gunpowder treason is forgot— no matter how interesting a subject might be, many people just don’t remember them. Although a good memory is critical for success in school, work, and general nourishment of the soul, memory is rarely taught.
Memory is one of the assumed skills. Teachers provide information that they expect the students to store for later recall. When the students don’t or can’t, their teachers may consider them distracted or unintelligent, when in fact they may be—and often enough are—high cognizers or problem solvers. Unfortunately, they will not have much to cognize if they can’t remember a thing while they’re working on it, as is the case of low sequencers (see below).
Contrarily, though intelligent, many students—and adults, I might add—are extremely distracted by our technology-driven world. The distractedness may not be intentional, but arises from habits of multi-tasking and continuous stimulation from ever-changing screens. Studies have shown that too much screen time warps memory. And in the experience of Structure of Intellect (SOI) teachers, students consistently perform lowest in one or many memory-related abilities.
Instead of focusing on improving screen habits and memory skills, we increasingly diagnose young children with ADD/ADHD, or related behavioral conditions, and prescribe heavy psychological medications to them. SOI offers a healthier alternative.
Treating those with ADD/ADHD and those misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD is an SOI specialty. SOI teachers have helped many students to get off medication, improve their focus in school, as well as their memories, and overall performance.
We define Memory as the ability to store information for later recall—details about sequence, color, place, sound, you name it. Since we take in many kinds of information, and through various means, an individual might perform high in one type and low in another.
SOI identifies six basic kinds of Memory:
—Visual Memory for Details: the ability to take in environmental details when you are not focusing on them
—Visual Attending: the ability to concentrate and remember visual information that is presented to you
—Auditory Attending: the ability to concentrate and remember auditory information that is presented to you
—Visual Sequencing: the ability to hold visual details in mind as you work with them
—Auditory Sequencing: the ability to hold auditory details in mind as you work with them
—Inferential Memory: the ability to retain abstract and implied information
Low visual memory can result in poor reading fluency; low auditory memory can result in poor math fluency and attention. Memorizing skills are foundational for learning, growth, and job performance. Your mind is almost a blank slate without memory.
Simply, these students and adults need training! Memory is one of the easiest abilities to train.
If you happen to remember those Milton Bradley Memory games, you are already on the right track. You could improve your or your student’s memory by playing just 10 minutes a day.
To target the specific memory-related abilities mentioned above, you might consider the SOI evaluation. SOI exercises target over thirty kinds of memory skills. A tutor might additionally recommend memory software you can work through at home. You’ve have nothing to lose but losing knowledge!
Now, for Guy Fawkes Day. If you remember the entire rhyme, you will know that Guy Fawkes was not an English hero, nor an anarchist, and that Catholics are slammed with particularly virulent singsong vitriol.
Guy Fawkes was one member of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the House of Lords and assassinate King James I on November 5th, 1605. He was not sticking it to the man. Rather, he and his co-conspirators wanted to replace the Protestant king with a more centralized Catholic rule. Fawkes was arrested while guarding explosives.
Months after the foiled plot, a grateful Parliament passed the Observance of 5th November Act, lest the public should forget to give thanks for the life of their King and the Protestantism of the nation. Bonfires were lit across Great Britain to celebrate each year.
The Act was not repealed until 1859, when the commemoration had passed through several centuries of iterations, from a strong nationalist remembrance, to an anti-Catholic observance, until poor children begged in streets with Guy Fawkes effigies. Gunpowder Treason Day had become Guy Fawkes Day.
Today, November 5th is a social celebration for Americans who remember the movie V for Vendetta, which prominently featured the Guy Fawkes mask. As did the Occupy Wall Street Movement. It’s funny how things change, or rather, how we forget!
Remember, remember that, and we’ll test you on it next year!