Great Class Notes

Great Notes


You’re killing it already.

Your first-day class notes (the Replies to Agenda THU SEP 06) show a wide range of capability and accomplishment, but overall they surpass the Notes of any other class I’ve taught.

What I’ve observed:

Most of you clearly grasp the difference between Bad Notes:

We talked about the writing process, and whether brainstorming, thinking about our topic, outlining, and other classic steps are valuable or not.

and Good Notes:

Thinking about our topics is a waste of time. We don’t begin to form ideas about our sources until we write about them. Purposeful summaries of our sources start the process of engaging with new material, and are a good way to practice first drafts.

Writing is Thinking.

I hope the Note-taking feels productive. I’ve said before, Composition II is a thinking course as much as it’s a writing course. And since it’s my contention that we develop ideas only when we turn our vague impressions into language, the best way to practice “thinking about” new subject matter, like lectures, is to write about it.

On a side note.

A Google search for images of “mixed men women raise trophy” yielded nothing useful, while “raise trophy” yielded hundreds of images of groups of men and groups of women raising trophies, but none of mixed-gender groups.

It was depressing to consider that trophies are for single-gender groups alone.

Thank goodness kids still work together as teams to seek glory. The “Odyssey of the Mind” teams don’t discriminate; they value teammates for their brains.

Classmates as Teammates

You may not think of yourselves as a team yet, but you’re achieving like one. Keep encouraging one another. It helps, and we all benefit from the camaraderie.



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Inventor of and sole practitioner of 299-word Very Short Novels.

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