Here’s a nice, meditative piece on how the sounds, smells, and even word associations of childhood can evoke strong memories. Writing for The American Scholar, Brian Doyle asks, “Why do we not sing these things as miracles?” It is also a reminder, for those of us who are parents or teachers, that we play a role in creating those memories: as Doyle writes, “when you are a child you have the most extraordinary senses, and can tell…how amused or annoyed your dad is by the tilt of his hat.” While there may be some artistry in this interpretation, it does remind us that our actions, even the most subtle, might end up being part of someone else’s recollection of us. And if so, we might want to be thoughtful about what those memories might be. Hopefully not the guy with an angry tilt to his hat!
Speaking of memory, a new study from Canada’s Concordia University shows that preschoolers with poor short-term recall are more at risk of dropping out of high school, and, unsurprisingly, the recommended response is less screen time, and encouraging mindfulness with make-believe play, in early childhood.