8 Minute Memoir: I Don't Remember

I generally have a good memory and there are a lot of things I can remember very well--in fact, I have a bit of a reputation at work for keeping track of stuff and remembering things I have seen. However, there are plenty of things I don't, or can't, remember (and some I don't want to).

For some reason I haven't memorized my library card number, despite the fact that I've had the same card for about fourteen years and use it regularly. I think it has to do with the fact that I can just scan it so I don't have to type in the numbers. I also worry that I'm not going to remember any passwords anymore now that I started using a program that remembers them for me. What if I have to log in to something from a different computer? I also have the same problem with my AppleID--I need it so infrequently that every time I need to use it, I have no idea what the password is, so I just have to reset it each time.

Another thing that I cannot remember is music. I've never been able to memorize music or to play by ear. Perhaps it is the rote way that I learned how to play the piano, which was basically matching up notes with keys. I've never been able to internalize music in a way that my fingers can produce it without a written guide; on the other hand, I can sight read easily. During my brief stint in marching band, I never memorized anything and just made stuff up when it was my turn to play. And as much as I wanted to learn the cello, and later the trombone, my inability to hear notes made it extremely difficult (especially since my cello teacher was vehemently against my using tape or anything to mark the right spots for my fingers). I'm always afraid that someone will find out I play piano and ask me to play something, since I won't be able to without music.

I find it odd that my brain works in this way--I have some things that stick around for ages, and others that just pass through and will not hang around and make any sort of impact. I may not able to play piano by ear, but I can tell you what the capital of Zimbabwe is (Harare).


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