Shoshanna Paperny: Notes Reflection

When reading, a text as foreign as Shakespearean plays, many tactics must be employed in order to understand not only the surface, but deeper meaning. In play writes and film involving Shakespeare’s text and language there is often alternative meanings than what originally meets the eye. Within the text lies various forms of symbolism, puns, irony and hidden messages that one would not notice without deeper speculation. When reading a play or watching a film my annotation process involves multiple steps. The first is re-reading or re watching the content.
By becoming better acquainted with the content you are already at an advantage when it comes to annotating the text. You become more familiar with the storyline, characters and general plot. Apart from that each time I read or watch a play, a new piece of information stands out to me, or I notice an aspect that I hadn’t before. After reviewing it twice or three times through I revisit the sections that A)stood out to me as being important, or B)I found confusing. At this point in the process I annotate a written play differently than a film.
For a play I revisit the interesting or confusing sections and start to decode it one word at a time. By finding or gaining a better explanation of what key words mean, you can start to understand what the text is getting at or portraying. In a film on the other hand, I typically approach these scenes by returning to the original text that the scene is based on. For me I best understand information through reading. Often by just reading the words from the paper I can better understand what is occurring on film.
This use of using text and film together to annotate goes both ways. By watching a Shakespearean film, and reading the original play (or vide versa), you gain a better understanding for the play and the content being portrayed. This way you are exposed to another person’s impression of the play while integrating it with your own mental imagery of it. While reading the text I will often underline these key words and read the text out loud in order to consolidate the information.
By annotating text you are not simply summarizing what is it front of you. You are adding something new, maybe a concept or a way in which is wasn’t understood before. For me a successful annotation provides me with the ability to not only relay on the story I read/watched but also be able to add my own opinions or takes on it. If you truly have a deep understanding for the content you are able to expand on it and gain deeper insight on its various meanings.

Cailin Murphy: Notes Reflection

For my second blog post I decided to write about the prompt that asked to reflect upon our note taking and how our methods attributed to our success in English 311. Throughout the course I predominantly took notes during class lectures. I used two notebooks to write down key ideas, themes, language choices, and any other elements that I found to be significant within class discussions or readings. I found that these notes became lesser in regards to page lengths, but increasingly more precise as the semester went on. This was because I was learning what was truly noteworthy to the piece or I began picking out what was going to further or add to the discussion topic. When looking deeper into my first notebook of lecture notes, I noticed that that this was a common theme as the semester progressed. My notes became more focused, and in turn, so did my ideas. I found it humorous that I could tell when I found the material of a particular class to not be interesting to me. I would see doodles within the margins or small drawings of stick people and flowers. I also found a page on which I practiced my cursive handwriting skills as well as my signature, just being honest!

To transition to into my method of note taking while watching film reflection, I found that my tendencies were similar. I found it was helpful to watch the film as well as read or follow along with the text version of the play. This way I was able to hear the tone of voice from the actors to get a more accurate portrayal of emotion or meaning of the particular scene. This method also allowed me to write in the margins of the text version of how an actor interpreted a scene to help me create meaning if something was unclear. I would recommend this method of note taking to anyone familiar or not to reading Shakespeare plays. I also found it beneficial when trying to complete my other assignments in this course, like the close reading assignment. To answer the next question posed as to how these note taking and inquiry methods determined my success, I would say that if anything they allowed me to deepen my understanding of the text at hand. To at first create meaning for myself with an initial read of the text, then match my interpretations to the meanings created when I followed along with my notes as well as film.