Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Microstory 162: Denton Wescott

Born to park ranger parents in the middle of nowhere New Brunswick, Denton Wescott was a very precocious child, having figured things out long before his peers. He attended a one room schoolhouse and didn’t so much as step one foot in a city until he was eleven years old. He pretty much always knew that he had the ability to passively absorb semantic memory from others. He knew more than he wanted to about the forest, how to teach children, and a little about farming. He was known as a vowel student for having never earned any grade below a U. He was bored at all times. After graduating from tertiary school, he decided to turn down the Tier 1 elite colleges, and instead attend Raiford University. He chose this not only because it was a nice change in scenery, but also because it boasted the highest number of students in North America. The more people he was around, the more knowledge he could absorb from them. Things were going well, as he was finally in a school that included A’s, E’s, and even I’s as grades. Unfortunately, his life took a turn. He was being inundated with all this semantic memory, and none of it could be applied to procedural memory. That is, he could learn in theory what it takes to be a car mechanic, but he would have to be trained the old-fashioned way if he wanted to actually repair a vehicle. As more time passed, things only became worse. He started to lose episodic memories. Events from his early childhood began to disappear from his mind little by little. His brain was only designed to handle so much. By the time he graduated two years later, he could not remember a single thing that had happened to him from his entire life. He didn’t seem to be perturbed by this, but soon found himself struggling to perform simple actions like driving, or even tying his shoes. He was beginning to lose his procedural memory, and if he continued on his path, he would eventually be nothing more than an encyclopedia with a beating heart. He was moved to beautiful Brooks Lake in a remote part of Wyoming. He spent a good portion of his life there until Bellevue was able to treat his condition. They were never able to retrieve his missing memories, but they were able to salvage his procedural memory, and taught him to control his ability. He eventually learned to pause his knowledge absorption, and also delete erroneous knowledge to make room in his brain.

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