HE MAY NOT HAVE A GOOD SHORT TERM MEMORY BUT HE HAS A GREAT MIND

An Operation Robbed Him of Some Short Term Memory But He Showed He Was Plenty Smart and Now He Has Graduated College


“A malignant brain tumor, discovered shortly after he began his freshman year at Rutgers University in 1995, robbed Andrew Engel of much of his short-term memory. His drive and intelligence, however, remained undiminished. That is why Engel, who lives in Ellicott City, Md. is not only a degree candidate but an inspiration to many who have witnessed his odyssey.”

The newspapers and radio have carried the story of Andrew Engel, a young man who had an operation for a brain tumor in 1995. The operation removed the tumor but took along a chunk of his ability to remember things. Engel wanted to continue at college and refused to give in.. Engel told National Public Radio’s Robert Siegel that with a team of his doctors, he found a way to study that allows new information to be stored in a healthy part of his brain that is associated with long-term memory.

Now he is graduating from the University of Maryland with a degree in Health Administration.

Here are some of the memory techniques Engel used: He employed at least five methods to help retain information long enough for it to become part of his long-term memory. He says most anyone could employ these to improve memory:

  • 1. Reading and re-reading. While at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, he would read assignment chapters at least twice.
  • 2.Mnemonic devices: Catchy, easy-to-remember memory aids. For example, he says that if he had a health administration class that required him to remember the 10 reasons hospitals get sued, he would make a ten-character phrase or word such as “basketball,” with each character representing the first word in a sentence.
  • 3. Taking notes, then later reading them aloud or rewriting them using as many sentences as possible.
  • 4.Studying a topic for the entire week, then at the testing time studying again.
  • 5. Typing his handwritten notes onto a computer.