The Oracle–Lectures and Meetups

Hey readers, this is the Oracle and we’re back with some tips on lectures and organizing meetups. Enjoy!

Most of my courses have lectures, and some of the lectures are short. But some of them are really long and can take up a lot of my day, especially when I pause to write notes. Is there any better way of taking notes in lectures?

Lectures are huge part of the OHS workload, especially in the core courses. For almost all lectures you will want to take notes. Sometimes it can get very frustrating to have to pause, write, and then click play, and pause a few seconds later.

There are several ways to make note-taking as efficient as possible; the most important thing is to find what suits you best.

You can write the notes manually in a notebook and use different color pens, underlining, arrows, and simple drawings to convey concepts. Some OHS students even use their second language, a practice which helps them have to think about the concept and roll it around in their head a bit more before going on. Though it takes longer, this helps them have a firm grasp of the concept.

You might find it better to type all your notes. This makes it harder to draw arrows and pictures, but it is often faster; besides, you don’t need to take out a notebook, and you can’t lose your notes as easily, either! Another advantage of taking notes on a computer is that, if you are looking for something, you can just use the search tool (control/command+f). This makes it much easier to find key concepts when you have pages upon pages of notes. The Microsoft Word default templates offer a convenient way to write your notes by topic, while the outline format makes it quite easy to take notes in a well-structured fashion.

Often, when starting to take notes on the computer for the first time, you might feel odd, as if you are not remembering any of it. I certainly felt that way when I started typing my notes. But in time you will get used to it, and you might even learn the material better by typing than by writing! Looking at the keyboard as you type not only makes the typing faster, it also offers a way to remember what you wrote by photographic memory.

Microsoft also came out with a program called Microsoft OneNote (you can search this in your computer; it is quite likely that you will find it!), which is specially designed for taking notes on your computer! You can use a graphics pad to handwrite it, you can type your notes in whatever fashion you want on your page (arrows and pictures are much easier to draw in OneNote than on Word, too!), and you can even take snapshots of slides! The best thing about these snapshots is that you can still search them, even though they are technically pictures (try it out)! When taking notes with Word or OneNote, it is often useful to go into fullscreen mode on the Centra lectures, and then make the Word or OneNote window smaller so that you can take notes and look at the slide at the same time.

These are some of the most effective ways to take notes; what matters most is that you find which one suits you best. If one is taking way too long, try another way. If you find that you forget about the material too easily, see if taking notes the other way will work better.

I see in the weekly bulletin that OHSers are hosting meetups, and they are always really fun. I want to host one too, but I’m not sure exactly how to do that, and I’m afraid of messing up. Do you know how to host a meetup, and what things I should take note of?

A: Want to meet your friends in person? Unless you want to wait until Summer Session or rely on someone else, you have to organize a meet up. Here are some steps for organizing a meet up yourself and making sure it happens.
Contact your friends, and get the ball rolling.

  1. Take charge! Someone has to do it, and it might as well be you. If you want something to happen, you can’t rely on someone else to take action.
  2. Choose a place, and a date. Remember that nothing is going to work for everyone, and the best thing is to be decisive about it.
  3. Get a few of the people you know better to commit. It’s easier to convince other people that it’s actually happening when you already have a few people, it gives the event certainty.
  4. Announce! Let your friends know, and if you want other people to come as well, post in Loons and email admin to get it put up officially on Gateway.
  5. Make sure everyone knows what’s happening/. Don’t be secretive about what the plan is — give everyone details. If something is going to cost money, let them know, give them ways to contact you with questions, the address of the meeting place, etc. The easier it is for anyone to know exactly what’s going on when and where the more likely they are come.
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Categories: Oracle