This post is part of a series called NAMED. Seeking a way for my students to remember the steps of how to use Alexander Technique, I came up with a simple word they could remember to help jog the steps. The letters of the word stand for each of the steps
N…notice – Started on April 4th, 2012, with points for self-observation
A…ask – Explored the “A” part of the mnemonic – on April 6th, 2013
M…move – Read more about experimental moves on April 11th, 2013
E…evaluate – This post explores how to get results from interpreting our experimenting – in three parts: For What Purposes? Standards and Timing and this post on evaluating conclusions
D…direct – also a three part explanation: Avoid Mistakes, Interrupting Routines and Clearing Sensory Feedback
Evaluate the Conclusions
Once results are obtained after conclusions are made, it’s tempting to file them away so they can be recalled using familiar retrieval memory skills. We will attempt to “evoke” the results with such techniques as repeating “magic words” or sorting. It makes sense to the brain that content and information that we “know” works in this manner, with producing the “right answer.” After all, schooling groomed this memory retrieval process during our education.
Performance ability is a different animal. Because many unique situational factors and chains of skills that got built must be taken into account as we perform, the process followed will determine our success. It’s not a matter of memory, but a matter of training.
Follow an old process, and you’ll get familiar results. For new results, we must follow the newer processes – and this takes courage to do what’s unfamiliar and time for training and practice of a new way when the new process is an unfamiliar one. To build a bridge between our old knowledge and our new experience so we can remember it, we need to note similarities – without discounting the uniqueness of the new experience.
It also takes a strange ability for abstraction and paradox. The “how” seems too abstract to repeat, because the discovery was so…funny. But what makes us laugh at not being able to “get it” when it seems so obvious now – that is the pathway to new and exciting territory.