Her Phenomenal Memory
Jill Price had always wanted the story of her remarkable memory to be kept secret. And so this incredible story of her phenomenal memory was locked away in the annals of scientific research at the University of California.
For 8 solid years the scientists at the University honoured her wishes and kept her identity hidden while they studied her memory in secret.
Why was it kept secret for so long when it would have been of such interest to the world?
Because she was an intensely private person and the thought of all that publicity made her freeze up. She didn’t want her story to be flung to the hungry jaws of the media.
Nevertheless, in 2006 she was persuaded – in the interest of science – to reveal her fascinating story. And so she decided to “come out.”
When the story broke the scientific world and the media went wild. She became famous overnight. Her story appeared in newspapers and Oprah Winfrey interviewed her in one of her shows.
In an interview on ABC News with Diane Sawyer she demonstrated her instant recall of events such as the exact day on which Princess Grace died. She knew exactly when JR from Dallas was shot, when the Unabomber was arrested and when the L. A. Riots took place. And there was a lot more.
An Autobiographical Memory
When Jill was questioned about it she explained that she had an autobiographical memory – which means that she remembers things in relation to her life. In other words, her memory is based on her own personal history.
The things that she remembers so perfectly have to be related in some way to an incident in her own life. So much so, that her memory of events not linked to her own personal history are not spectacular.
In fact she revealed that she was not a brilliant student at school and that she even found it difficult to memorize a poem.
Today Jill is in her middle 50’s. She has spent most of her life in Los Angeles where she has been working as a school administrator. She lives with her parents and is a collector of personal memorabilia that she can’t bear to part with because her memory is intrinsically bound up with these symbols of her life.
It’s easy to understand that she would hate to lose touch with any of them. In fact, she suffers from separation anxiety to the extent that she feels that she would not be able to cope if she moved away from her home and family.
Jill Price’s Very Strange Handwriting
The interesting thing for us is her remarkably strange handwriting. If ever you wanted proof that handwriting is a true reflection of personality here it is.
Jill has chronicled in amazing detail the highly fascinating story of her life in a journal that contains 50 thousand pages of her handwriting set up in columns like a newspaper.
50 Thousand pages!
The following excerpt is reproduced from just one of these columns.
Details about the handwriting
The very first thing that hits you is how strange it is. But we also notice how extremely crowded it is. In fact, it is crowded to the point of obsession – which is possibly the key to her whole personality.
Her mind is so crowded with events of her personal life and her past that she has compacted every detail into an unforgettable block of personal memorabilia.
The phrase obsessive-compulsive disorder comes to mind.
In the handwriting sample, spacing is non-existent. Everything appears to be chaotic – and yet when you enlarge the picture and follow the words, there is a strange sort of rhythm that seems to follow through.
Notice also how the margins of the column are well justified both on the right and left sides. Look carefully and you will see that the lines are in fact quite straight – only the words bob up and down within them. In short, Jill seems to dance to her own tune.
Her handwriting does not follow the norms of communication because there is no desire to communicate. It’s all about personal reflection.
In some ways it reminds us of the handwriting of Leonardo Da Vinci who used mirror writing so that the merely curious would not be able to read his work.
Much of Jill’s handwriting when magnified appears to be highly individualized – and this is one of the marks of high intelligence.
Angular and rounded connections abound without any obvious pattern. There are imaginative shortcuts and there are also words that are completely connected to one another.
This is a handwriting sample to beat all handwriting samples. It would take many hours of study to try to pin down the personality behind it.
So is this pure eccentricity or is it possibly genius?
Anyone game for the challenge? I would be interested to read your comments.