You get sone days when running is particularly tough. Tough physically and certainly tough mentally. On those days I need to set mini goals to tick off on my run. Memory tricks to convince the body to keep going. On this route it’s to reach 9k. At 9k I get this view. Doesn’t matter how many times my little legs take me past here, this view never fails to deliver. The view is lost way too soon and it’s back on the slog again. A couple of hill climbs are fast approaching. I’m not the spring chicken I once was. Those hills hurt. Currently the only thing that works (apart from using a car) is to count. When the climb starts it’s about counting from 1 to 100. The deal is that I can only stop running up the hill at 100. So far every time I have got to 99 I have reset the count back to 1. Don’t say 100 or skip past it really quickly and I must keep going for a while longer.

These little tricks help me. Now we are searching for another one.

We all have blind spots.

One of mine was historical dates. I’m normally good with numbers. I can memorise phone numbers really well yet I just can’t remember dates. As hard as I try those dates just won’t stick.

Son has a few blind spots. He’s good with numbers but can’t get his head around decimal places. Ask him to work out 24×37 and he can do it ever so quickly. Yet ask him to add 1.3 and 3.8 and it’s impossible. Whatever we try just doesn’t work.

He can remember dates with ease yet times are a different matter. He struggles with the concept of time. He struggles to tell the time. Digital clocks are problematic while analog clocks are impossible. Everything we have tried has basically failed. So now we come to this Sunday.

It’s the Year 8 French Exam tomorrow. One of the areas which is bound to come up is telling the time in French.

Dad if I can’t tell the time in my own language what chance do I have in telling the time in something which probably isn’t even my second language.”

Everything we have tried has failed. In the end we settled on an educated guess approach.

Learn parrot fashion il est ….. heures ….

Then assuming he can’t work out the right time in English he will put the first number he sees (converted to French) after heures and the second number before. If he can only see one number then that goes before heures. That gives him a chance. Ok it doesn’t work with every time but it’s the best he can manage. He’s found his own way of trying to get through this challenge. It convinced him that if he’s sees time questions then he still has a chance. It’s worth having a go. Gives him hope and belief.

So tomorrow at the same time he is enduring his exam I will go for a run. I will suffer with him. Let’s hope both our memory tricks work.

58 thoughts on “Memory tricks

  1. I will suffer with him
    As a Christian, I am slowly learning the power in those words. Suffering has a direct as well as mystical side to it. We often focus on the direct, not the mystical – where our suffering reaches much farther than we can ever imagine, lighting hope and healing in lives perhaps not known to us.
    May your suffering help your boy. And may it go as far as it can for others too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The view is awesome, gives one Hope and Belief to think of it while running (I count to 100 too!). I think that is your calling, Dad. To give others (such as your son! and your readers) Hope and Belief that it will all be all right, it is not as bad as it seems, and we will survive.

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  3. Time can be so tricky if you are dyslexic, my son is the same. Hope the exam isn’t too stressful for him and he is happy with the result. 🤞

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow! I love the photo. That’s quite the view. You’re only encouraging my dream to see England. ☺ I’m sorry to read that your son is struggling so, but he’s very fortunate to have such a supportive dad to go the distrance with him.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Loved this. I am horrible with people’s names. If someone said to me remember so and so and I haven’t seen you in a bit I will say I think so have to see their face.🙄 love the photo. I will be thinking of you and your son today. Please do not worry too much.

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  6. This brought back a memory of my teaching days. I had a 45 minute lesson plan that I could pullout on a moment’s notice if for some unexpected reason the rotary French teacher did not show up in my class. I would do a lesson in French for telling time. Didn’t work out as planned because shock of all shocks the class of 9 year olds did not know how to tell time in English.
    The clock is no respector of languages.

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  7. If it’s not too late: is there any way you could turn it into a Maths puzzle (as I have done with kids who have struggled) with the clock face as a cake divided into 12 pieces with each piece representing 5 minutes? And, to tell the time, practise cutting your wedges with the first cut always being at 12?

    If you get your to physically cut, too, and to see and feel the wedges in his hands, that might help. My kids used paper and scissors to make the “cakes” and progressed to setting each other puzzles to solve.

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