Half the game is mental; So is the other half

There is a narrow little room inside the sprawling brick tangle of Hershey High School, not far from the dual smokestacks of the famous chocolate company. The door is not numbered and the walls have no windows. A teacher named Colette Silvestri spends Thursday afternoons inside, leading her team in practice. She times a group of students staring hard at pieces of paper, or sometimes at a deck of cards or pictures of people they do not know. The students memorize all they can, usually in 15-minute stretches of tedious silence, reports the New York Times. Then they spill their memory to recall, say, 120 random words in exact order. (That is roughly the length of this article to the end of this sentence, but with the words shuffled.) Or maybe they will try to match 159 unfamiliar names to photos of strangers, or recall 227 exact words, capital letters and punctuation of a poem read for the first time…

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