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social, health, political imagery through the lens of George J Huba PhD © 2012-2017

Word processors were not in common usage until the late 1980s, early 1990s.

The context of how a memory was originally stored is important. Using a pen instead of a word processor might be helpful when you are trying to remember the good-bad-indifferent-ugly old days and to write down lists of memories.

Or, if you are working with an older person — and perhaps one whose memory is failing — you might want to hand them a pencil or pen like the ones they used when they were much younger and ask them to write down what they remember. Having an old-fashioned pen or pencil in their hand might help open some memories. And, if you look in an old dresser or desk drawer of an older person, you will probably find some cherished pens in the top drawer that were birthday presents or work awards or something they received when graduating from school.

Putting a pen in someone’s hand and seeing if they remember better is a very inexpensive and easy thing to do. Most people started taking notes when they were children using handwriting tools and continue to this day. Recreate the original experience and see if the association helps unlock some memories.

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