On my first day of Organic Chemistry, our professor handed each of us a packet containing the major functional groups and their corresponding pKa values. We were told to memorize them. Many students frantically made flashcards, and quizzed each other out loud. Meanwhile, I studied by watching football.
When I looked at the functional groups, I not only saw ketones, esters and carboxylic acids, but to me, each structure resembled an NFL team and my favorite fantasy football players. I make these associations subconsciously. It’s been second nature to me my entire life.