Sunday, February 22, 2015


I'm (still) auditing this class on black women writers, and one of the best things about doing so is that I have a reason to take copious notes. I really have no idea, now, what my note taking looked like in college—class notes, yes (in the rare class that threatened to put me to sleep—usually because of time of day rather than subject matter—my notes tended to wander, ever more illegibly, almost off the page...I do remember hiding Uncle Tom's Cabin under my desk during Horticulture so that I could stay awake, with the added bonus of getting my reading done), but not reading notes. I'm sure I didn't highlight my books. Did I underline? I have no earthly idea. Most of the students in the class seem to highlight and/or underline, though.

But I'm reading library books, and, well, I couldn't write in those even if I wanted to. So instead I'm taking note after note. Quotations for preference (especially useful if I ever need to cite a given book for a paper...or a Goodreads review, for that matter), but also thematic bits and the like. For Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, I (very) briefly summarised each chapter. But for Ghettoside, which was supplemental reading of a sort (to what end, I do not yet know, although I've already sorted out one way to connect it to Incidents—clearly I am desperate to write a paper), it's mostly quotations, because they explain the book so well.

Being in class again is wonderful. I miss taking notes and arguing points in class (though, as an auditor, I am keeping my mouth politely shut) and being told by the professor that I'm wrong. (Or right. Right is just fine too.) When I read just for myself, I still take down lots of quotations, but...this is a different kind of fun.

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