There are certain things I just cannot for the life of me remember without a little help.
For example, I live on the (Never Eat Soggy Weet-Bix) east coast of Australia. I come to that conclusion by aligning the N’s (North and Never) up top and working my way around clockwise. I can remember North and South easily enough but East and West is another story completely. My mind just doesn’t want to store that information.
Incidentally, ‘Never eat soggy Weet-Bix’ is some good advice because soggy Weet-Bix are awful. The trick is to put them in milk one at a time and eat them quickly.
The second, and probably the most commonly used one is for remembering the number of days in a specific month. It goes a little something like this:
Thirty days has September,
April, June and November
All the rest have thirty one
Except February which has 28 days clear,
And 29 days each leap year.
February is the only one I can remember without the poem. It’s my birthday month, but even if it wasn’t it’s the easiest one for obvious reasons.
I’ve noticed people also working out the days by aligning the knuckles of both their hands (less the thumbs) side by side. July and August are both 31-day months and coincide with knuckles, where the shorter months coincide with the lower part in between the knuckles.
The other one that I have no reason for knowing but can’t get out of my head is SOH CAH TOA. At this stage (13 years since school ended) my understanding of what it is used for is skewed, but I know what each of the letters represent and it’s all because of a story my maths teacher once told me about an Indian chief called Sohcatoa.
I know of people that use similar methods to help them remember how to do up a necktie, or which way to turn a tap to tighten it. And I now realise that both these examples feature a bit in American movies and television shows.