In 1988, in San Antonio, Mark Johnson gave a presentation to 350 students from across the state. Prior to the presentation, Johnson got to know the students and where they were from. Later, during his presentation, he had each student stand as he listed off each of their names — all 350 of them.
How did he do it? Chunking the students together in groups, according to the city in which they lived.
“Anyone can list off 10 to 20 names quickly,” Johnson said. “It’s just multiplying that more than 10 times.”
Johnson, a professor of technology and workforce learning at Pittsburg State University, has presented many times about the brain, memory and how to retrieve information. He will be a featured speaker at an upcoming one-day conference for older adults, their families and caregivers.
“What I’m able to do in a short period of time is get everyone to understand that we all have photographic memories,” Johnson said. “It just takes training and honing in those skills.”
The Kansas State University Research and Extension Southeast Area office will sponsor the conference, titled “Aging with Attitude,” from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. April 25 at Wesley United Methodist Church in Parsons. In addition to Johnson’s presentation on developing photographic memory, health care reform also will be discussed.
Roberta Riportella, the Kansas Health Foundation professor of community health at Kansas State University, said she plans to cover many topics in her presentation on how the Affordable Care Act has affected Medicare: how Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage has changed by the ACA, what preventive health screenings are now available through Medicare because of the ACA, why Medicare beneficiaries should not sign up for insurance in the new Kansas Marketplace Exchange and how the ACA affects adult children and grandchildren.
Other session topics will include estate planning, tips for exercising and sleeping, following a balanced diet, handling grief, budgeting and using social media responsibly. There also will be health sessions that focus on eye care and Alzheimer’s disease.
Registration is $15 per person and covers snacks, lunch, speaker fees and program materials. The pre-registration deadline is April 15. After the deadline, registration is $25 per person.
Registration and program information can be found at www.southeast.ksu.edu/p.aspx?tabid=61. Anyone with questions also can call the K-State Research and Extension Southeast Area office at (620) 431-1530.