Tag Archives: Enlightenment

Note taking tips – Notes matter

As I sit in business and board meetings, I notice that few people take notes.

Note taking as a path to success

I wonder if they have better memories than I do, but then,  I realize that they have been trained, like most of our society, to let content wash gently over them and pass by un-noted, un-synthesized, un-digested.

One of the most powerful differentiators I’ve found in life, both in academic and professional settings is the skill and habit of taking clear notes.

I came across an interesting piece in the Atlantic recently re: note taking with some important tips and perspective on note taking.

If civilization is based on learning from and building upon the best thinking that’s gone before, then note taking must be one of the keys to building or at least fighting entropy in our civilization.

I do not agree that the best notes are taken on a PC.  I may be old school, but I can write/draw/think much more quickly with pen and paper than I can with a computer.  If some hand-written notes turn out to benefit from digitization later, I can quickly dictate them into text using my Android phone.  Capture and synthesis the most difficult and valuable part of the process, digitization falls far down on my list of priorities.

The last point in the Atlantic article mentions note’s usefulness in court, but I find them useful in any setting where differences in recall or opinion might creep in.  The power of the scribe is a well-known and very useful phenomena, essentially, the person who creates the written record (notes, legal agreements, historical interpretations, etc.) have a special power over the written record of the event.  Harold Innis has an interesting perspective on the power of the scribe through history and in the refinement or entropy of our current civilization.

I came across a very simple implementation of the ideas from the Atlantic article in the Cornell Note Taking Method.

Duly noted!


Classical Tutoring

Classical tutoring defined:

Private instruction given to a student by a highly skilled teacher focused solely on helping the student build a strong, broad academic base from which to build a habit of excellent life-long learning.  These tutors often used the proven Enlightenment techniques of the Trivium and Quadrivium.  In days of yore, only the extremely wealthy could afford this best of educations.  Today, Christ Church college, part of Oxford University in England, still uses this 1:1 student:tutor method with famous results.

Christ Church says of its tutorial system,

It is an academic partnership that is both personal and demanding. Through it you should learn to think independently and critically, to form, express and, when necessary, revise or defend your own views, and never to be content with a superficial understanding.

The benefits for your student:

1. Undivided Attention – from a passionate, creative, patient teacher.

2. Tailored Curriculum – to meet the student’s and parents’ needs and interests.

3. Personal Pacing – to maintain your progress and active involvement.

4. Faster Progress – and increased momentum gained toward a love of life-long learning.

5. Advanced Skills – that classroom teachers would love to teach, but often can’t because they must “teach to the middle”.

6. Deep Insights – into the subject matter because little time is wasted on classroom management.

Using technology (Skype or Google Talk). this type of private tutoring relationship is now affordable and practical to deliver to families like yours.

Will this work for your student?

Yes, if your student is:

  • Between the ages of 7 and 18.
  • Without major special educational needs – I am not trained to offer services for students with these exceptional needs.
  • Homeschooled and looking for challenge beyond what parents have time or energy to offer themselves.
  • In public or private school but seeking more challenge, support, and/or enrichment.

How much does it cost?

Contact us if you’d like to discuss the possibilities for your student.