Tuesday, July 15, 2003    


Why do I love scrapbooking?

By:Angela G.

I had always been fascinated by the fragile nature of memory. How was it possible for me to forget the ecstatic feeling of first falling in love, or the agony and sorrow of losing someone close? How can I forget those details that seemed so important and essential to who I was at the time, and be unable to recapture those feelings? During a college psychology class, I began to learn some of the scientific answers to these troubling questions and decided that the study of memory was to be my professional passion in life.

After learning about research showing how easy it is to falsely (but seemingly confidently) remember events and details that never even happened to a person, I could not trust my memory. One of my strongest memories as a child was when I fell into a campfire at the age of 5. I vividly recalled the horrified looks on my parents' faces while, for a brief moment that felt like forever, everyone stood motionless in disbelief.

But as they reminded me, my parents weren't even there when it happened! I'm not alone in my false recollection; after one short research encounter, the majority of college students can be convinced and then recollect that they were once lost in a shopping mall as a child when in fact it never happened.

Scores of prison sentences have been overturned due to mistaken eyewitness identifications. For these reasons, scrapbooking clicked with me immediately- the perfect hobby to allow me to document and hopefully one day re-live parts of those memories that otherwise will be lost to me. Not only does it help me remember where I've been and what I've done, it helps me to remember WHO I am. Capturing those fragments of memory allows me to re-construct how I saw the world at that time and how I felt about it. By extension, it allows me to share with the people in my life how I've changed over time.

So now I spend my life pondering memory. By day, I'm a researcher trying to solve the puzzle of how our memories change as we age. By night, I'm an obsessed scrapbooker, lurking around message boards to find the perfect inspiration (or latest essential gadet!) to preserve a moment in my life.

Tomorrow at dMarie Daily: Why Scrapbooking is important...in satire, by Chrisitie S.

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