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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Coin tossing

I remember being six years old. I remember kindergarden, and first grade. I can see the classrooms and the chalkboards. I can remember what direction the rooms faced in context to the rest of the building. I can remember the girl who sat a little to the front and side of me, had no fingernails...and that creeped the heck out of me.

I remember my first "nap time". They had us drag out these blue mats and lay them down, and then the teacher commanded us to nap. I remember being confused and like I did for much of my early years in school, I just watched the others and copied them, no questions asked. I laid on my mat.

I remember laying there, and the window over the other kid next to me shoulder. I remember all the kids closing their eyes. I remember thinking they had all done this before and I hadn't. I remember thinking "sleeping? now? Its daytime. Theres no blanket. Um Ok".

So I pretended to nap.

strangely I only remember this first nap experience. Surely we did this daily for over a year, but I only remember this one time. In fact, once I closed my eyes to "fake nap" the memory disapates. I don't recall getting up to put the mat away.

I often think about why I remember what I do. I have really bad memory problems. Both short and long term. I remember images, places and faces, but I dont' remember why. I can see a person and recognize them, but not remember our previous convo. I can remember going to a place with friends, but not which friends went with me.

So we come to the coins.

In first grade they begin to teach you about money. They have these paperboard coin photos you pop out and you can move them around on your desk. I remember them like it was yesterday. The texture, the wieght of them. The way the little preforations left bumps on the edges. I recall them being darker than their real counterparts.

But then I think, why do I remember these things so well? Like the mat and the nap, there was an emotional association that was strong so they imprinted on me. Confusion.

For som' reason I didn't understand the concept of money well at 6. When som'one says "the nickel is five" I had no idea what that meant. My interpretation of this explaination was "the nickel HAS A FIVE ON IT" at least I think thats what I thought...In fact I mostly remember being frustrated at my little paper nickels. Heres why.

My mom.

Yup, you guessed it, my first "blame my mom" post. Long time comming I suppose.

I remember her distinctly being mad and frustrated with me that I couldn't get this easy concept. I vividly remember her behind me at the table, hovering over me, jabbing her finger at the paper coins expressing her displeasure in me because I couldn't get it. I remember som'thing along the lines of "your smart, ugh why can't you get this, you must be messing with me" being said.

I most certainly was not "messing" with her, or being stubborn. Or trying to make her angry. Making her angry scared me at 6. I was trying, but I just wasn't getting it.

I did one day obviously learn to count money. Iam a cashier and a half now and count money so fast it would make your head spin. Som' one else must have taught me, probably my teacher, or another student. I do not for the life of me remember how, when or where I got it. But I still, at 28 can vividly remember failing at it.

I suppose then, confusion creates memories. They can be neutral, or very aversive, I suppose they can be positive also. I try to remember these things when I teach things to people and animals. They learn faster that way.

One must be careful when training sensitive beings. They may remember stuff you don't want them too.

1 comment:

  1. Hey its Michaele or Mickey or better yet...pawz ;) What an interesting way to put it "confusion creates memories" I like it.