Organizing and Applying Ideas

According to Mike Rose, education helped “develop a sense of myself as knowledgeable and capable of using what I know.” How we as students collect and retain the information provided to us can augment our confidence and competence; therefore,  the way we take notes is an integral part of our learning. Although my personal method of notetaking seems unconventional and gratuitous, the process allows me to better absorb information, furthering my comprehension of the topics taught to me in class.

My un-edited notes taken during class
My consolidated notes , written after my lecture

I begin my procedure by typing a word-for-word transcript of lectures every day, ensuring I have all the raw information provided by my professor, no matter the relevance. After class, I go through the accumulated information, tangents and all, copying down the important pieces in a concise, organized manner. Re-writing my notes facilitates the memorization process, leading to better overall retention of lectures and topics presented within them. This process, however redundant it seems, is essential as it allows me to focus my attention on the pertinent material, something Rose also sees as crucial to our learning and development. Learning to “search for and synthesize information” provides one “with the means to probe the world and to push back on other’s interpretation of it.” The ability to take jumbled information and extract the most meaningful fragments develops this skill which Rose speaks of, a skill allowing me to better organize my thoughts and attend to only the paramount information. Having proficiency in consolidating and synthesizing information lends itself to be useful both in and out of the classroom. Being capable of extricating specific truths is a skill especially useful in today’s climate as we cannot believe much of the information presented to us. Having this set of tools enables individual prosperity because, as Rose maintains, it “feels good to know things and use what you know.” 

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