Yesterday at the gym I heard someone ask, “What is a gerund anyway?” Out of my mouth came the information that it is a verb turned into a noun. Gazooks! I hadn’t thought about gerunds since 7th grade. That would be 58 years ago, more or less. That entire year we were drilled on parts of speech and diagrammed longer and more complex sentences as the year went on.
My short term memory seems to be getting weaker. I can’t hold a telephone number in its entirety any more, but need to write it down. I went to the store last week to buy salsa for a special pork dish. I came home with dog food, whipped cream, milk and a greeting card. Now it it is true that we needed all these things, but I forgot the salsa. I will go upstairs to get something and then look around trying to remember what I came upstairs for.
But remembering the definition of “gerund” on the spur of the moment has given me a new view of my memory. Apparently my deep storage system where such things as parts of speech and sentence diagrams reside has thawed out and is ready to deliver a wide variety of information. Some have asked me how I remember such vivid details of my childhood. You are witnessing a display of this thawed deep storage system.
I hope that this change in memory will allow me to let go of minor grievances in my present life. I hope that it doesn’t awaken long forgotten grudges from year ago. Such as “why did Tim send me that mean Valentine in 4th grade?” Uh oh!