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The valuable skill you learned in elementary school

November 25th, 2013 5 comments

When I was a senior in high school, a close friend of mine was asked to help another friend’s older brother with a psychology experiment. She was going to be singing tracks for him, and all I remember was feeling entirely unsurprised, because she was the best singer I knew and I always been a little jealous of her. Fast-forward four years, and I’m searching through PsycInfo, looking at articles about music and memory, when I come across an incredibly familiar last name. “That’s so weird,” I think, “how many Simmons-Stern’s could there possibly be in the world?” So I read the article, and as it turns out, it’s the very same study that was being created my senior year, published in a real journal. Not only that, but it’s an incredibly interesting read, which is why I’m going to share it with all of you. Read more…

Categories: Aging, Memory Tags: , ,

Knee surgery? Don’t forget the boombox.

November 24th, 2013 1 comment

When I was a kid, my dad’s mom was always the sharpest, most pointedly funny person at our family gatherings. She was smart and witty, and also incredibly independent, living alone in a split-level house and always baking things to bring to our parties (even if everything she made tasted like cigarettes). When she was in her late 70s, however, she fell in the house and broke her hip, leading to a surgery and fairly lengthy hospital stay. We visited several times during her hospitalization, and I remember that even as a kid I could tell something wasn’t right. My grandmother wasn’t her normal self – she seemed like she was processing slower, and she sometimes became confused about what was happening, which I had never seen happen to her. Read more…

Categories: Aging Tags: ,