I remember traffic jams

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’m trying to review all the stuff I’ve ever learned about the Ancient Near East in preparation for this class next semester. In doing so, I’ve begun to wonder if there’s something essentially wrong with the way my memory works.
I’ve gone over Mesopotamian ancient history at least twice in classes. But though I remember that King Shulgi could speak five languages, I can’t remember what dynasty he was part of or what time period that dynasty might date to. (I also obviously can’t remember not to end clauses with prepositions, without excuse).
I’ve learned the Hebrew language probably four different times…and forgotten it four times. I remember the various verb forms and their meanings, but not how to conjugate specific verbs, and whatever vocabulary I’ve learned is 90% gone.
I can remember hundreds of advertising jingles from the 1980s and 90s (Big Mac, Filet o’ Fish, Quarter Pounder, French Fries. Icy Coke, Thick Shake, Sundaes, and Apple Pies), but at this moment I cannot remember what the abbreviation A.M. stands for. I know that P.M. stands for Prime Meridian, but I don’t know what that means. It seems to me it has something to do with the equator.
Is the situation hopeless? Am I never going to be able to hold enough information about my field of study in my brain simultaneously? Maybe if REM would write a really long song about the ancient near east, and if it were still the 1980s when they were still good and I was still 16 and could listen to the same album endlessly because it was the most profound thing I’d ever heard?

4 Responses to “I remember traffic jams”

  1. KDC says:

    P.M. is not prime meridian either, hate to tell you.
    ante meridian, post meridian
    (think middle day, like French “mercredi” is middle of the week)
    ante and post meaning what they usually do – antebellum houses, postwar revelations.
    You should call Michael Stipe and ask him about this idea. They didn’t include anything about Mesopotamia in “It’s the End…”, did they? A big gaping hole in that song, I am shocked.

  2. michele says:

    aha…thanks for setting me straight. Does “prime meridian” mean anything, or did I just make that up?

  3. KDC says:

    Sorry for not responding to your comment – sure, it’s the north-south line through London. Actually, Greenwich, where some politicos sometime decided was a good place for an observatory to mark high noon or some other such nonsense.

  4. michele says:

    Ah, good, I’m glad I didn’t dream the whole thing up…

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