In my long-term memory, I have embedded 314 digits of pi. I'm not joking about the 314 joke-- that's why I intentionally memorized 314. I mean, I probably have somewhat forgotten especially the last 100 of those, but if I quickly glanced at the digits again for 5 minutes, I'd be able to recover all 314 since it's in my longer term memory.

The story behind my memorization of pi came in 8th grade when I was taking a geometry class at the nearby high school, and had overheard they were having Pi Day festivities, including memorizing digits of pi. I was all over that, and to help memorize the digits, I found an online game called

Pi Runner. (I was able to play this right now and after about 4-5 tries of making silly mistakes, I got about 211 digits)

The weird thing about this game, is that you can actually accidentally memorize pi into your muscle memory. What I mean by this, is that if you use a numberpad so the layout is something like

7 8 9

4 5 6

1 2 3

0

then, it's kind of like a dancefloor, and your fingers are doing the dancing, memorizing the dance moves to the digits of pi. So, I had not only memorized the actual numbers, but I would like to further say that my memorization is greatly aided by the muscle memory I still have even to this day of pi. I actually can play the game of Pi Runner quite fast, and without even thinking of the digits of pi, since my fingers automatically punch in the numbers... it's really weird being able to type in pi without thinking of pi itself.

Anyhow, this is what I did to memorize it, in addition to breaking up pi digits into strands of numbers. To give you an idea of how I break it up, here is how I have grouped the first 50 digits after the decimal point--

3. 1415 92 6535 8979 3238 46264 33832 79502 8841 971 693993 7510

So, if you tell me the strand of numbers: 8979 (see above), I'll recognize where it is in the sequence, and will be able to relatively easily pick up where you left me off at 8979. However, let's say you shift that strand over by 2 digits, and you instead give me 7932, I won't have a clue what you're talking about, or where that is, even though 7932 exists in between the 2 strands, 89[79 32]38. I must know the digits of a strand I memorized, or I won't recognize it. That said, if for some reason, I lose momentum in either reciting the digits of pi, or typing it on the numberpad, I can actually get very stuck if I stop in the middle of a strand, versus stopping between two strands of numbers.

Notice that I also try to group numbers together which are easier to remember, and less random, such as 1415, or 6535, or 8979, or 693993. I'll end up with some less preferred strands, but I see this as much better than using fixed lengths of like 4 digits, since you tend to get random numbers in each strand with no easy way of remembering it.

So, for the first year I did that competition, I had gotten really stuck in a couple of places, like I completely stopped reciting digits for like 1 or 2 minutes at some point because I got trapped in the middle of a strand, but I eventually powered through and successfully completed 314 digits. The person hosting the festivities had given me the title "decimal mover" because of my 314 digits. I ended up winning, with 2nd place coming in at like 137 digits, and had won a $5 Starbucks gift card... meh.

*The next year*, I was no longer in the district, so I couldn't participate, but they invited me to be a judge for the pi reciting table. Someone that year had memorized like 90 digits of pi, and won a TI-84+ Silver Edition graphing calculator... WHAT. And I got a $5 Starbucks gift card the previous year. I mean, it was their first time doing it when I did it, so I suppose I understand, but like WHAT? haha. I don't even.

That year, I had decided to do 3 times the number of digits, bringing my total to 942. Of course, it was short-term memory though.

The following year in my 10th grade year, I had decided to do the unthinkable, and be

White And Nerdy by memorizing 1000 digits of pi -- "know pi to a thousand places". Again, it was in my short term memory, which I could recite on that day, but quickly disappeared thereafter. Only 314 digits are still in my memory to this day, which I do intend to brush up on every year to keep it fresh (: