[Abby’s Road] Kicking It Old School

And then there were three. In my language class, that is. I’ve enrolled myself in what one calls an “Intensive German Class.” M-F, 9am-1pm for 2 months. Intense indeed. It started with four students, including myself. Now, three days in, only GiGi, Jose and I remain. Keep in mind that I haven’t been a student for over 15 years. Although I never claimed to be at the top of the academic mountain, I held my own. That said, I’ve totally forgotten how to study. I need me some Schoolhouse Rock, Deutschland Style…ASAP.

I am still waiting for most of my belongings to arrive here in Europe, making due with the barest of essentials, including a loaner CD player/boom box combo, courtesy of my in-laws. CD player? Broken. Random Bayern radio it is! Depending upon the weather and time of day I am able to receive a few stations, static-free, in my flat. You know, just to have some music and background noise when I’m at home alone, other than my own heartbeat and my cat scratching around in her litter box. Last week as I was cleaning the kitchen I caught myself singing (pardon me, belting out) – WORD FOR WORD – Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” along with the radio. Ironically, I’ve always believed Phil Collins (and pretty much the whole of Genesis) is/are the supreme work of the devil. This song, along with many others I’m afraid, is so subliminally ingrained in my brain from when I was a kid – osmosis via hardcore radio airtime – that, disgracefully, I know it by heart. Loverboy and Foreigner be damned!

Pondering what will forever be known as The Collins Incident of 2011, I’ve come to realize that I probably couldn’t run through the alphabetical list of the United States as fast as I can today had my grade school geography teacher not taught us a song to accompany the list. Same thing goes for counting by 3s. Music is just that slick, or perhaps the human brain is the superhero in this equation. Songs, melodies and rhythms are the perfect vehicles to deliver info to the ol’ noggin in a supersonically fast way. Faster than, say, reading it over and over again while listening to records and eating potato chips (ahem).

So I have a genius hypothesis: attach a little jingle to any bit of information (conjugating the verb “sein” for instance), repeat it incessantly, and my chances of remembering it for decades will grow exponentially…in theory. Any and all tips and tricks are appreciated. Phil knows I need it.

Happy weekend.

[Abby’s Road is a Knox Road feature published every other Friday.]

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