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Everything Had To Fit Together Like a Jigsaw Puzzle

Posted on December 12, 2012 at 2:15 PM

My task was to make a list of words to jog my memory. I knew I was a top down learner, that is I had to see the whole picture first as I could not remember details without it. I had to have the concepts first to give enough meaning to the details so I could recognize them. A fresh list of words was meaningless to me, but if each word was a character in a concept story I could recognize it. I could recognize the word as part of a story and the story would give me the definition. It was the story that I had to have first. I had to make psychology a story, a story of the making of concepts. In a sense I had to understand the concepts better then others in order to remember the details, or to recognize the details. My masters degree had made me take all the different theories of counseling and melt out the universal core theory, what they all had in common. That way I could remember the individual theories not by all the details and different terms they used but by how their concepts differed from the universal core. I now had to do this for all the theories in psychology. Every thing had to fit together in a progressive story of concepts.

 

This was not an easy task. I set about it for weeks, diagrams of how concepts fit together into one story. The diagrams I made in high school to remember lectures had prepared me. Even all the verbal stories my grandmother had told me now helped. All my unsung hero's lessons and love had prepared me to do a task I was really unable to do without their past help. They had given me the courage to try.

 

Finally the list was complete, the list of words were the mountain top peaks in a journey from the rudimentary concepts of psychology to different valleys of different throes but all one landscape, diagrams of details glued together by common concepts, like streams going into bigger and bigger rivers but all in the same system. I took my list to the director. He glanced at it and he approved it. I was scheduled to take the exams again. I was on top of the world again. Life is ups and downs. The tragedy to follow I did not foresee.

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