Published: 25th January 2019
Meet John Louis, the master of memory who can teach you how to remember complex chemistry formulae
Louis, who is invited by schools and corporates alike to help train their brain for day-to-day tasks, believes that training the brain holds the answer to great exam/academic success
One of the sessions that saw a full house at TNIE’s Indian Education Fair 2018 in Dubai was that of John Louis, the Grand Master of Memory. During every session, students and parents alike got to hear hacks that would help them sharpen their memory. There was no way that we were going to let go of the opportunity to talk to Louis.
Louis was a Chemistry teacher, but when he saw students struggling to remember concepts, he started teaching them how to memorise
So on the second day, before his session began, we caught him for a few minutes and the very first thing we asked the Grand Master of Memory, who was the first Indian to win this title, was about his techniques. He first went on to clarify, “People think memory techniques do not require them to understand the concept, but it is not so. Techniques give you the concentration required and make the process of memorising more enjoyable.”
Rapt attention: Louis delivering his first session at the expo | (Pic: Express)
Speaking about the onslaught of digital education, Louis said, “The digital medium doesn’t allow the brain to imagine on its own as it constantly feeds one with images. It should just aid our education, not take over everything.” But he cautions school and parents against forcing children to switch off gadgets. Instead, he suggests that we reason with children and try to make them understand the pros and cons of the digital medium. “We can only make them realise and then, they must discipline themselves,” he says. But isn’t today’s education asking for a digital intervention? In an era of rote learning, isn’t this the need of the hour? “The Indian education system doesn’t encourage rote learning, it is the competition that does,” he points out. If the subjects are made interesting, there is no need to rote learn the child will be interested to learn and that is what the need of the hour truly is, "Let the child explore what interests him and not give him too much of how disinterests them," he explains.
Louis himself doesn't do any particular exercise, but makes it a habit to remember most of the things and not write anything down
He also calls multitasking a menace, something which is glorified no end. “What you basically do is divide attention while multitasking. You abruptly stop thinking about one task for a moment, shift to another and jump back to the first one. This is not very good for the brain,” he says. “Parents also complain that children often perform well in class tests, but aren’t able to replicate the same performance in exams. This is because they don’t transfer information from short-term memory to long-term memory,” Louis tells us. “There is no substitute for your own brain. If you don’t use it, you will lose it. You need to be in control of your brain and exercise it regularly,” he concludes.