‘A nice challenge’: Lubbock student competing for national Memory Master title, plus $10k prize

Published: Apr. 5, 2022 at 6:42 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - A Lubbock student will compete for the national title of “memory master” and a $10,000 prize. More than one hundred thousand students participate, including those from the American territory of Guam and Hawaii.

Marianne Fisher is a twelve-year-old home-school child who has been a memory master for five years. It’s her last year to participate, so she is one of 16 chosen to compete for the national title, meaning she must recall facts from the previous three competitions.

“I’ve done that every single year, so I’ve already memorized it already. I just have to almost refresh my memory and kind of redo it and get freshened up,” Fisher said.

Each year, participants must recall more than a hundred facts in spelling bee style. Then they must redraw a map of the world, and for a final round, students must recall a timeline of facts forward and backward. Fisher’s favorite section requires the least preparation.

“They give you a list of 12 memory work facts that you can make a story out of. Because I like stuff like that. Just random out of your head, no notes,” Fisher said. Preparation for a competition takes nearly five hours a day, including memory tricks.

“I have songs made up that I listen to because I find that songs often stick in my head a lot better. So half of it is working on a song, and half of it just has to memorize it,” Fisher said. She says the skills gained from classical conversation competitions will help her in adulthood.

“It’s such a nice challenge, and to basically get to learn how to learn is very important. Like later on, if you have stuff, you have to memorize or list, or fact, like okay, I can do this. This is how you do it. You do it this way,” Fisher said.

There are about five local chapters here in Lubbock, and Fisher is one of two Texas students competing for the national title. Fisher is set to compete in North Carolina at the end of April.

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