CBHS Alumnus Survives Army Plane Crash, Develops New Learning Methods


COCOA BEACH, Florida — After graduating Cocoa Beach High School in 1979, Shannon Schunict attended Brevard Community College, Florida State University, and F.I.T. where he enrolled in the R.O.T.C. program.  After graduating college, Schunict joined the U.S. Army where he was first stationed in Texas.  
While a 1st Lieutenant with a U.S. Army Mechanized Infantry Company, he survived a mid-air collision in 1985 which involved two U.S. Army aircraft.  The collision rendered Schunict unconscious for three weeks.  Due to the injuries to his brain, everything had to be re-learned during his six months of hospitalization.

Because Schunict suffered short-term memory loss, he had to train his mind to compensate for this deficit with the use of mnemonic techniques.  If you remember the “FOIL” method from high school algebra, that’s what Schunicht had to undergo on a much larger and more intense scale.  

His mind related vowels with mathematical operations i.e. “a” for multiplication to imply “@”, “o” division implying “over”, “i” for subtraction to imply “minus”, “u” implying “plus”, and “e” implying “equals”.   Likewise, most constants and variables were translated into consonants, e.g. “c” = “speed of light”, and “z” = “altitude.”
The net result of these memory techniques was that he devised a new shorthand for many lengthy mathematical and physics calculations.  He now travels to colleges and universities to share his shorthand techniques in addition to his website.