I did well in school, but I could have done better. The thing is, I am terrible at remembering dates. Sure, there are a few that we all know, like “In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue,” and the 1776 signing of the Declaration of Independence, but most dates just slip right out of my brain. Any test that included dates was automatically going to be a grade lower than tests that did not. And I know that many of you are the same way.
But wait! I can remember dates! I know tons of dates! Just not important dates from long ago. I know dates like, say, my birthday, and the year I graduated from high school. Those are easy to remember! So I have come up with a new system, a perfect system really, that will let you use the information that you already know, to recall things that are otherwise impossible to remember.
For instance, let’s say you must remember that the light bulb was invented in 1879. Well, that’s hard to remember. But I can easily remember that my wife was born in 1979, so she was born 100 years after the invention of the light bulb. How easy! Now when I think of the light bulb I only have to remember “My wife minus 100” and I’ve got the answer! And it works on almost anything!
When did Mozart die? Well, I know that Nirvana released their music changing album “Nevermind” in 1991, so if I can remember Nirvana – 200 I know that Mozart died in 1791. What year did the black plague end in Europe? 1350, or, as I like to say it, The Start of the Korean War minus 600. There are so many examples!
Spanish American War Begins = Barenaked Ladies “Stunt” Album – 100
Wright Brothers 1st Flight = My Wedding – 100
Beethoven Born = The Beatles Break Up – 200
Death of Catherine the Great = My High School Graduation – 300
Benjamin Franklin invents bifocals = Ghostbusters – 200
Kepler’s Supernova 1st Observed = Red Sox Break the Curse of the Bambino – 400
See? You can remember just about any date in history armed with only a date that you already know and a rounded number! It’s amazing, and totally way less complicated than just, you know, memorizing a bunch of useless information. So the next time you are taking a test, be sure to use this new method, and then let me know how it works. I don’t really take tests anymore, so I can’t try it out. But I’m sure it’s brilliant.