Monday, July 7, 2008

SAT Vocab finally gets love and a face (figuratively)

Deservedly, it's time SAT Vocab received some lovin' attention. <3

After considerable subconscious rumination over a decade since writing and releasing the book, I have come to a stalwart conclusion that the methodologies we introduced were not as dynamic over time as we first envisioned.

1998: SAT Vocab was hatched as a side project while Ivan & I (I'm Ben) were getting ready to take the "old" SAT. Even though English was our first language, we still had trouble 'digesting/memorizing' the shear amount of information presented to us in a non-intuitive "traditional" fashion -which felt more like a wild foie-gras force feeding marathon- --than something that would aid in the retention of tricky vocabulary.

Fueled by frustration, we experimented with different methods, but with little avail -little sparks here and there- definitely no Newton's Apple. Ultimately, we rolled all the crumbs together, and came up with a cognitive method that dealt with the abstractness of a word, by anchoring it to a parallel sentence in which the dichotomy of term and meaning were explored together. At the time, this method seemed revolutionary as compared to brute memorization.

During the late 90s, the internet was still in its infancy, what I like to call, "One Dimensional". The net wasn't flat, but it was boring like remembering words with flash cards. Internet on a 33.6K dial up was pure torture (more like 9-12k/s). We had ISDN at school, but the Apples with 'grinched' RAM completely killed the experience [How much RAM do Apples at school come with? Do they skimp nowadays?]. .MP3 was an experimental format and took a few hours to download, if the phone wasn't picked up -which almost never happened, and if you were disrupted, the process would need to restart RAWR!

more tomorrow...