I am a very visual person. I think in pictures and metaphors and I don’t really grasp complex concepts until I have a picture of them in my head, even if it’s a picture I made up myself. When I was growing up, I thought this was just the way the world was, just like I thought that everyone knew that “C” was female and yellow. Honestly, I’m not sure how common this is, but here is how I visualize various number and cyclical systems:
This is how I picture the alphabet and I’m not sure why. It doesn’t make much sense why it would necessary bend at around “I” and “V” but it does and it always has ever since I was small. Whenever I picture the alphabet, this is what I see in my head.
This is generally how I picture most numbers. There is a bend at ten and a big one at twenty and then at 100. The problem with this one is that it is also 3-dimensional, but you get the idea.
It gets more complicated with age, since there are more bends in the line (90-100, for instance, is almost at right angles with the ones before it) but that is more 3-dimensional and I notice it tends to change as I get older (not surprisingly, I guess.)
Months of the YearThis is probably the most intuitive, since it’s a circle, although the exact placement of things is a bit odd. For instance, New Year’s is in the upper left. July, August, and December take up much more space than some others, although I think this is because those were times of holidays (summer holidays and the Christmas season) so they seemed to take up more time in my mind. Or maybe just because they had to connect a big area between the spring and fall semesters. In any case, this is what I see in my mind when I think of the calendar or the months of the year.
This is the Korean alphabet and won’t have much significance to most people, but I thought I’d put it in as a point of interest. This is much simpler, maybe because there are 14 letters (these are only the consonants) and maybe because I only learned them 10 years ago. In any case, there is a definite bend in the line, possibly because the later ones are the aspirated versions of earlier consonants. Who knows.
This is pretty much how I visualize the timeline of history. Some of these are obvious, like a bend at the divide between BC and AD. Also, there is more room for the 20th century, since we learned a lot more about that time and it has more significance for me. I’m not sure about some of the other dips and bends, but this is just how I see things. This one is also quite 3-dimensional, but that was hard to draw.
Does this seem normal to you? Totally weird? Let me know in the comments. I’m curious how other people view the world.