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Interesting How the Mind Works

My mother has always been an accomplished letter writer – her travelogues are definitely worth keeping. Lately, she’s adapted her flair for the written word to email, having amassed a healthy mailing list of relatives, grandchildren, etc.

Here’s one she sent last month – I thought it was an interesting insight into the nature of learning. She’s taking care of my aging grandmother, and writes …

… when I was cleaning out mother’s [room] … I found a pile of cards she has received. She had torn several of them in very unusual ways. I brought them home to look through them. I found one card that had been ripped a little. When I opened it up, I found a note she had written to Frank, probably when she was in temporary quarters while waiting for Kay to get well in late June or early July.

I thought parts of the note were scribbles when I suddenly realized she had written those parts in shorthand. When I looked at it that way, I was able to read the entire note …

I was talking to my hairdresser yesterday about this. He came to America from Germany when he was in his 20s. He said one of his customers asked him if she could bring her mother in for a haircut. The lady was in a nursing home and unable to speak coherently. She was able to say words but they weren’t put together in a meaningful way. When the lady came in, Joseph said something to her in German. The lady began to speak to him in very clear and understandable terms — in German. She had come from Germany when she was a young girl. Joseph said his customer was amazed because he was able to interpret and tell the younger lady what her mother was trying to tell her.

I guess what is buried in our minds from our youth may come out someday!!

I have always felt that people learn, understand, and internalize things in different ways – a key reason to work on many forms of communication (written and spoken word, diagrams / pictures, and experiential stuff). Apparently, as the brain starts to age, some parts go faster than others …

I think my mom needs to start a blog …

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