Accelerated Learning - Giving Back by Paying It Forward

by Neil Segars
(Birmingham, AL USA)

After finishing engineering school and working a couple of years I decided to go to law school in 1963 while working full time. I had a wife and child and had to work so I entered a night law school and went 5 nights/week for 4 years.

the memory book
A Harry Lorayne book I found in the public library saved me from disaster. I couldn't remember most of what I read until I discovered this book during my first week in school.

By applying the Link and Peg word systems I finished 1st in my class and went on to get an MBA also.

My objective was to open my own computer systems integration business. This dream was achieved.

During this time I began volunteer working with inmates at a local state maximum security prison with other businessmen. I begin to notice there were some very intelligent men there with limited formal education.

Most had "dropped out" of formal school after thinking they were "losers" who could not learn. What a tragedy!

After several years I put together a one-year course I called "Accelerated Learning." This month marks the ninth year for the course. It is amazing to see the confidence these men gain after "learning how to learn."

For me, basic learning is:
  1. Obtain the information,

  2. Remember the information, and

  3. Apply the information.
Remembering the information was their main problem as it had been

The memory feats these men can perform are remarkable to their peers and the prison staff. They are not remarkable to people who know and believe in the value of memory systems.

I am 74 now and trying hard to "give back." I feel like Johnny Appleseed planting the seeds of the value of memory systems to educators in my community. And as unbelievable as it may sound... it is a hard sell.

So I am going to students themselves and parents of students. A person has to have the burning desire to want to improve and make the commitment or it will never happen on a sustained basis.

The vast majority of our educators, particularly those in policy positions just don't seem interested. But our prisons are bursting at the seams, and at an immense expense.

With your blessing I will make your web site a "must" for those who are really interested in improving their ability to learn... and that includes me because I'm always looking for better ways.

Alvin Toffler said it best,

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be the individual who cannot read and write but the one who cannot learn fast and continuously for a lifetime.

Many thanks for the work you are doing. Please keep it up.

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Jan 15, 2013
Spreading the Word About Memory Systems
by: Douglas J.

Neil, I am impressed by your one-man campaign to spread the word about the effectiveness of memory systems!

Truthfully - I am not that surprised to hear top-level educators sometimes turn a deaf ear. I have a couple theories on that - including that memory techniques are mistakenly viewed by society as "tricks" rather than true study methods, and that people with exceptional memories tend to falsely label those with a poor memory as just lazy.

Suffice to say, the students who need memory systems (including you and I) really do need them. Not because we require a crutch, but because visualization-based memory techniques allow us to make fuller, more effective use of our natural memory pathways. Besides, even someone with a superior memory can utilize the systems to improve their memory even further.

Your success with prisons makes me wish your Accelerated Learning program was included as part of the rehab program in all prisons. We've all seen stories in the news about inmates not only not being rehabilitated, but becoming hardened by prison life; then, when released and without any skills, they slip back into their old, bad ways.

Teaching inmates memory techniques would, I'd imagine, give some of them confidence they could go back to school, earn a degree, and get a good-paying job. There will always be hardened individuals that cannot be reached. But there are no doubt many inmates who can go either way. I bet your course helps push the borderline cases toward the "good" life, where they aim to reenter society as a productive, not destructive element.

Please do point your students to I've been working on it for six years now and will continue posting new resources and information. By the way - if there's anything I can add to the site to make it more useful to you or your students, please tell me.

Thanks for sharing. And you please keep up the good work too!

This is information only. It is not medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

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