Conversations with Saundra, My First Psychology Teacher

I always wondered how could she forget. I feared she had amnesia. But she couldn't. She was the smartest, I always believed. She would have had reliable memory otherwise how could one explain her rank in the merit list? But now that I was a student of Psychology and true to its image, it indeed held a lot of answers concerning human nature. I learnt why people forget and it finally dawned upon me. It was all in the Interference Theory. All those times when she never called. Because she was suffering from Retroactive Interference. Newly acquired information competing with already known information for recall. And it also wins all the time. But then when I managed to speak to her, she wouldn't like it and asked him to stop. Why would she do that? Maybe because now Proactive Interference was at play. Already known information prohibiting the recall of newly acquired information.

And there in those hallowed pages of his Psychology textbooks, I imagined hearing Saundra Ciccarelli in her school teacher voice, explaining the small but troublesome mysteries of life. I asked her if it applied to feelings and people too? For most of the research till date was conducted on skills like snowboarding and skiing, memorizing credit card numbers and such. She said, she had not known of any formal research but she could see a live example in front of her. She however, innocently added that maybe I was a Repressed Memory. A traumatic incident deleted from memory but not permanently. But stored away in the Recycle Bin as a hidden file. Only to be retrieved on an appropriate cue.

I felt bad. Terrible too. I couldn't be a traumatic memory or could I? I asked Saundra, what did she think? She said lets go into the lab and let me conduct a few tests. She was good at testing but I didn't want to go. So I said my good bye and thank-you-teacher and left the building. Knowing how bomb blasts, floods, earthquakes, nuclear reactors gone awry and death must be feeling. They were repressed memories, just like me. Saundra's beaming smile was the only good thing about the day, that I had not seen. It was her smile. I never suffered from any interference. My memories were fresh.


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