Last week, CUA Research Day had interesting research on mindfulness. As we all gear up (pay heed to that motion metaphor!) for the end of an academic semester, here are some readings on note taking and attention; mind mapping; and the art of slow!
And there are two hypotheses to why note-taking is beneficial in the first place. The first idea is called the encoding hypothesis, which says that when a person is taking notes, “the processing that occurs” will improve “learning and retention.” The second, called the external-storage hypothesis, is that you learn by being able to look back at your notes, or even the notes of other people. [Source: Mueller, Pam A. and Oppenheimer, Daniel M. 2014. “The Pen is Mightier than the Keyboard:
Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking.” Psychological Science OnlineFirst,. doi:10.1177/0956797614524581. ]
Having briefly thought about this, I want you to take a single sheet of paper (any size, shape will do) and drawing with a pencil or pen, carve it up in some grid-esque fashion that represents the shape of your day. It can be this day, a recent day, a memorable day, or a typical/amalgamation day. And then inhabit these spaces you’ve drawn on the page with lines, marks, or gestures that represent your activity or emotional state during those times represented. The emphasis here is to do your best to not draw things. (You can always do that later!) And also, you can leave space blank on your page – but that has to mean something. This isn’t writing where you can finish a final sentence mid-page. Every inch of the composition is important in comics – so be aware of that as well. Finally, when I do this in class or with groups, I give people about 5-10 minutes to do it, so they have to make decisions quickly. Try to give yourself a similar limit. [Source: Salter, Anastasia. 2016. Thinking through Comics with Nick Sousanis’s Grids & Gestures. http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/thinking-through-comics-with-nick-sousaniss-grids-gestures ]
In a corporate university, argues Slow Professor, “power is transferred from faculty to managers, economic justifications dominate, and the familiar ‘bottom line’ eclipses pedagogical and intellectual concerns.” But slow professors nevertheless “advocate deliberation over acceleration” because they “need time to think, and so do our students. Time for reflection and open-ended inquiry is not a luxury but is crucial to what we do.” [Source: Berg, Maggie and Barbara Karolina Seeber. 2016. The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. And, Flaherty, Colleen. “‘The Slow Professor’.” https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/04/19/book-argues-faculty-members-should-actively-resist-culture-speed-modern-academe, accessed April 19, 2016.]
— Kimberly Hoffman