Monday, September 16, 2013

Should've written that down. . .

I have noticed that there are quite a few people in my classes who never take notes: they take photos of the Smartboard or projector image, but they never write anything down.

I would be curious to know how they do on quizzes and tests, because I'm quite certain that that wouldn't go well for me.  Half of my "absorbing the material" happens in the physical and mental act of writing down the important stuff.  I pay better attention to what's being said when I have to take good notes, but its more than that: with anything, be it a thought of my own or something I've gotten from a lecture or textbook, or an experience I've had, if I write it down I am about 10 times more likely to remember it, even if I then lose that record, than I am if I simply heard or read or even experienced it.  Writing helps seal it in to my memory.

I think that's one of the reasons that LDS leaders are constantly admonishing us to keep a journal.  There are lots of reasons for that: in the mental processes that we engage while writing, we are likely to discover insights and lessons that we missed in the initial thought or experience; it is much easier for us to learn lessons if we have a record there to go back to (even the strongest human memory is fallible); those who come after us can learn much about us, about spiritual lessons we learned, or simply about the world at the time we were in it from our records.  But I think part of it is in the discipline of making ourselves "write that down", things are imprinted more thoroughly on our memory, and we are more likely to remember and be able to draw on those things, even if we sadly never return to the record.

We're studying algebra and human physiology--if not everyone in the class remembers everything they want to, cest la vie.  But when it comes to the marvelous and challenging experiences of raising children, building an eternal marriage, leaping personal hurdles, and building meaningful relationships with the important people in your life, write it down.  It takes time and discipline, but you'll be grateful that you did.  Its amazing how much we forget, and how quickly, if we don't make a record for ourselves.

1 comment:

Kaytee Postma said...

That's the exact reason why I started my blog. Josh and I went to dinner with his parents and they were telling us some stories from when they were first married and Josh said he'd never heart those stories. I never wanted my kids to not know where they came from. The good times and the bad. I write down every milestone, measurement, etc. It also helps since I usually forget to put those things in their baby books :/