Notes Reflection- Arshpreet Dhariwal

Annotating while reading a play-text has become second nature thanks to all the practice high school Shakespeare gave me, but making notes while watching a movie is a new concept that I have recently started doing.

My hand written notes are anything but neat and possibly not legible to a person other then me who reads them, but they represent the quick thought processes in my brain and connect information that probably only makes sense to me. I have gotten better at taking notes of only the important information. I have spent years copying notes word for word and going back to find that I understood nothing. Bad habits die hard and I still can not prevent myself from doing this completely, so I have invented tactics to help myself avoid writing down useless information.

For me note taking has to be done the old fashion way, good ole’ pen and paper writing out information helps the material to be cognitively stored in my brain and for a Biology major this definitely helps remember the many, many terms a lot quicker. I apply the techniques I have learned with my science notes to my english notes; sounds weird right. But really the skill of taking down the information I hear from the professor or teacher himself is essential, the thought process of the teacher really helps explain details about certain ideas and shows you insight on how you will be graded or what you will be examined on.

Making notes in text is something I have had to work on more perpetually, and I can say that I have improved a vast amount since the days when I would leave asterisk’s all over my page’s expecting future me to realize what those were referring to. Annotating texts is similar to note taking but has more to do with explanations, and referring to literary devices used in significant parts of plays or novels. Instead of starring up my page like the night sky,

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I like to colour code and use the margins in books to note down specific themes and motifs. For Shakespeare’s plays the margins are very much useful for explaining what he is saying, and what is happening in the scenes. In high school I found it extremely helpful to also have sticky notes; colour coded obviously, that pinpoint exactly where certain more significant literary devices were used or being repeated. That may have been a reason why I found Shakespeare a lot more comprehendible then my classmates, and also a reason that enticed me to take this course.

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The Sticky Code- Yellow=Themes/Motifs Green=Word choices/metaphors/similes Pink=Is my bookmark on that page

I now use all the tricks of the trade I have learned over the course of my twelve years of schooling and apply them to higher level academic courses like this one. The biggest con about my style of note taking is that it is very time consuming, and university is all about beating that time clock. This is why I tend to rely more on brief note taking and just basic explanations in margins, its not as affective and I can definitely see the difference in the results, but it is the best balance between colour coding and just plan underlining.

Taking notes while watching a film is quite difficult for me and something I have to focus on improving. My reasoning for this might sound silly but this is something that I find hard to do because I am a very visual learner; thats why colour coding is so helpful to me, and I believe that if I watch a movie I can store all the visual details about it in my sensory memory. Little ‘note’ on sensory memory its our short term memory so nothing really stays up there for long enough unless you use it, basically the memory fades away and then I fail the test.

To improve my film note taking I will start with actually writing down important information, I believe that having categories set up on my page would help me since that is how I set up my note taking for texts and plays. I believe having my page setup in categories before hand will make it easier to take down important information since details in movies are a lot easier to miss then details in texts, because of the inability to actually write on the movie script.

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