First of all, I wanna say sorry for being so neglectful, I had to get myself in the groove of being back in school. Let me see, ahhh yess, memory. I'm taking a "Issues in Contemporary Lit" class in school, and the two books we have talked about so far were autobiographies that were centered around being a writer and how you remember things a child vs how you remember them as an adult. Since I fancy my self as a writer, I would like to talk about this.
My earliest memory is a pair of shoes. My first grown up pair of navy blue leather flats. They were grown up to me because they where not those thick, rubber soled, paten leather Mary-Janes every mother forces on her little girl because they are ooooo soooooo cute. Blah. I wanted simple, sophisticated shoes. Well these shoes where to big for me to wear yet, I don't know where they came from or anything, but I do remember that this was during the time that I lived with my daddy and my step mom over the weekend, before I took up permanent weekend residency at my grand mama's cause step mama didn't want me in her house. Boo. Anyways the shoes. They didn't fit. But I liked to wear them around the house, and Daddy would play Cinderella with me. I don't remember any details, just that it was Cinderella, I was a princess, and some how this was all tied up with snow and it being 60 degrees the day after it snowed. All other memories I have before I started school are brief ecstasies of firemen poles in pre-school and the initial shock of my surprise party. I remember nothing about the party, just the first initial scream of SURPRISE!!! that nearly killed me (you cant spring that on a four yer old and expect them not to be scarred for life), and being upset afterwards that I didn't get any coconut cake. All of my other memories before the kindergarten are false memories, that is, I can only remember the story some one told me, or describe a picture I have of the memory, I don't actually remember the actual event (even though I pretend to).
Scientist belive that active memory starts with the acquisition of language. How ever if you've ever listened to small child tell you something they "remember" its like speaking to idiot. Children lack the adequate sense of time and sequence to successfully tell any kind of story comprehensible to a normal human (even though their insistent babbling is mildly entertaining). The memories of a small child are often mixed up jumbles of nonsense with the occasional unicorn and fire breathing rat (unless you talking to some kind of "child genius" in which case their babel is comprehensible, but still nonsense). Memory begins to strengthen once children reach school age, because they are able to participate in the collective memory of a class room. A group of 20 little babbling idiots should be able to tell you what they did in school yesterday in a way that can be understood. Strength in numbers right? The routine of school helps train the mind to think more logicaly and sequentially. There is also the long drawn out process of having kids draw pictures of things they did, or think they did, to help strecnghthen visual memory, and a chance for an evil spinster or bitter wife of a teacher to inform some poor helpless child artist and prodigy thet there are in fact no such thing as fire breathing rats. Boo.