Friday, October 22, 2010

Do You Memorize?

We do.  Not as much as I would like, but we do.

Kerry and I have both memorized (some of) the Navigator's TMS.  The boys all memorized verses in AWANA.  We've learned verses for Sunday school, and ones I've picked for homeschool.  And verses to go to sleep by.  We recited them at breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We chanted them, we even sang them (to tunes like I've been workin' on the railroad or Ten Little Indians... I know, we're weird).  Whatever works.

But really, I like memorizing passages rather than isolated verses from here and there.  Somehow they hold together better in my mind.  And that doesn't lend itself well to singing.

And that's okay, because I have a little trick.  Long ago, a friend taught me this.  Are you ready?

Copy out the first letter of each word in the passage you're working on.  It's your cheat-sheet.  Enough to give you a hint without giving it away.  And enough to keep you from skipping a phrase or flipping the word order.

Simple, yah?  And oh how it helps these distracted and overworked brain cells!  Trust me on this one.

So I think of our bedtime verse from long ago, Psalm 4:8, and it looks like this:
I w l d a s i p, f y a, O L, m m d i s. 

And now - be still my geeky heart - there's even a web tool to do it for you.  (You know, in case it's too tedious copying out the first letter of a bunch of words.)  Here's what you do.   Go to a site like Bible Gateway and copy out the text you want to memorize.  Then go HERE and paste it in the box.  Then click "convert", and wa-WAH, print it out and get to memorizing!

Oh.  You might want to take the verse numbers out.  Or not.  Whatever.  I do, because it's hard to tell a number 1 from a capital I or a lower case l and it confuses me.  Which is, sadly, all too easy.

I put in Philippians 1, which we memorized last year, and got this:

 
P a T, s o C J,
      T a t s i C J a P, t w t o a d:

 G a p t y f G o F a t L J C.

 I t m G e t I r y.  I a m p f a o y, I a p w j  b o y p i t g f t f d u n,  b c o t, t h w b a g w i y w c i o t c u t d o C J.

 I i r f m t f t w a a o y, s I h y i m h; f w I a i c o d a c t g, a o y s i G's g w m.  G c t h I l f a o y w t a o C J.

 A t i m p: t y l m a m a m i k a d o i, s t y m b a t d w i b a m b p a b u t d o C, f w t f o r t c t J C—t t g a p o G.

N I w y t k, b, t w h h t m h r s t a t g.  A a r, i h b c t t w p g a t e e t I a i c f C.  B o m c, m o t b i t L h b e t s t w o G m c a f.

 I i t t s p C o o e a r, b o o o g. T l d s i l, k t I a p h f t d o t g. T f p C o o s a, n s, s t t c s u t f m w I a i c. B w d i m? T i t i t i e w, w f f m o t, C i p. A b o t I r.

   Y, a I w c t r, f I k t t y p a t h g b t S o J C, w h h t m w t o f m d.  I e e a h t I w i n w b a, b w h s c s t n a a C w b e i m b, w b l o b d.  F t m, t l i C a t d i g.  I I a t g o l i t b, t w m f l f m. Y w s I c? I d n k!  I a t b t t: I d t d a b w C, w i b b f;  b i i m n f y t I r i t b.  C o t, I k t I w r, a I w c w a o y f y p a j i t f,  s t t m b w y a y j i C J w o o a o m.

  W h, c y i a m w o t g o C. T, w I c a s y o o h a y i m a, I w k t y s f i o s, c a o m f t f o t g w b f i a w b t w o y. T i a s t t t t w b d, b t y w b s—a t b G.  F i h b g t y o b o C n o t b o h, b a t s f h,  s y a g t t s s y s I h, a n h t I s h.


Which, I know, looks like Gaelic, or Welsh, or Icelandic or something.  But trust me, it works.  I look at the paragraph at the bottom and can remember, Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ...

It works!

Now, here's another trick from the same friend.  In your Bible, highlight the verses you've memorized.  I don't write in my Bible.  Some do, I don't.  But I do highlight my verses.  It's one part reward, and three parts the pleasure of coming across them - like meeting old friends - in my reading.  Give it a try :D

6 comments:

Cathy M. said...

Terrific suggestions! I'm going to experiment with this later. I've always been kinda terrible at memorizing anything that doesn't have a strong rhythmic/rhyme scheme... I hope this works for me.

Deanna said...

What a great idea!

Also, I have your little prize for you from naming our beloved Wilbur. Can you send me your address? gemmerdl AT yahoo DOT com. Thanks!

melanie said...

Gotta love Bible Gateway ~ but I didn't know about this helpful little conversion tool! Thanks!

The dB family said...

Waa hoo! This is so cool! I do the highlighting thing, but I never knew about the letter one. This just may help me finish memorizing the book of James. Thank you for sharing it!

Blessings!
Deborah

Anonymous said...

wow...I could actually get through the first few verses of Phil just from those leters...it works. :) I surprised myself at how much I already knew. But couldn't have done it w/o the letters. :(
Diane of Salem way

Ann said...

This is awesome! We memorize a lot, and I'm like you - I prefer longer passages. I started working on Phil 1 early in the summer and then got sidetracked. I'm so excited about this! Thanks for sharing!