Memory Man – Mr Paterson

I am a Psychology teacher with an unusual hobby – Competition Level Memorisation. I can memorise the order of a shuffled deck of playing cards in under 2 minutes, a list of 240 words within a 15 minute time limit and, given an hour, I can memorise the precise sequence of well over 1000 randomly generated digits. I can recall all this perfectly without delay and without error. 

I discovered memory techniques at university and I was instantly hooked. I quickly trained myself to a level where I was able to enter international memory competitions, including the World Memory Championships. I have been the Welsh Memory Champion on two occasions, I won the UK Memory Championship in 2016 and over the years I have coached three students to victory in three different styles of school memory competitions. 

This is not a natural ability. It is a taught skill and one that is based on techniques that have been in existence for thousands of years. Whilst I have practised them to an extreme level, the principles that they are based on can be learned and applied by any suitably motivated person in a single afternoon. 

As a psychology teacher I often spend my time working with students to show them the strengths (and the limitations) of memory techniques so that they can use them independently as part of their wider study strategies. 

It takes motivation, imagination, hard work and a sense of humour to make these skills come to life. I have only been at The Abbey for a matter of weeks but it is already very clear to me that the students are perfect candidates for memory training. 

I am very much looking forward to working with them in my time at the school. 

Mr Paterson, Psychology Department

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