The Gauntlet / Returning study abroad student acquires opposite of short-term memory loss - The Gauntlet
Illustration by Tricia Lim

Returning study abroad student acquires opposite of short-term memory loss

By Frankie Hart, September 4 2019 —

Third-year student Victor Vervelend was surprised when he realized upon returning home from studying abroad that he had developed a memory problem.

“It took a few days after coming back from Barcelona that I realized it,” Vervelend explained. “On the first day back from Barcelona, I thought maybe it was just problems with jet lag. It was definitely on the fourth day back from Barcelona that I realized it was something more.”

Vervelend’s family and friends have reported that they’ve noticed his inability to recall any memories outside of his trip.

“My mom made me breakfast the way I liked it as a kid to try to help,” Vervelend said. “It kind of reminded me of this exquisite Spanish omelette I had in Barcelona, but it wasn’t as good.”

Vervelend’s family decided to seek professional help, and were referred to Dr. Herinnering, a neurologist. He suggested a very simple prescription: just waiting it out.

“I see this problem all the time. It usually goes away naturally with the passage of time,” Dr. Herinnering said.

However, for rapid results it is recommended that those close to one affected by this problem ignore any mention of their trip.

“It’s just simple negative reinforcement,” Dr. Herinnering explained. “They’ll be quick to catch on that no one’s as invested in their trip as they are, and keep it to themselves until their memory goes back to normal.”

When asked about this possible recovery method, Vervelned said “I hope no one has to resort to that. It kind of reminds me of my study group in Barcelona, it felt like they kept shutting me out for some reason.”

This article is part of our humour section.



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