LAURIE: Oh... I am really worried about the exam. I have no idea what will be on it.
SUE: Why? Just read your notes.
You can see what the professor stressed in the lectures.
Probably the exam will ask about things he stressed.
LAURIE: Yes, but my notes are all nonsense. I can't figure out what is important.
SUE: Let me see them.
Are these all the notes you have?
SUE: But Laurie, how can you do well in school if you don't take more notes?
LAURIE: What do you mean? You think I don't write enough.
SUE: I'm sure you don't write enough.
Look at this. Here you wrote:
"Russian Revolution. 1917. Bolsheviks. Real revolution, or coup?" And that's all?
I remember he lectured for a half hour about that question.
And you didn't write any of it!
LAURIE: I know, but I listened.
SUE: Yes, but did you remember? You need good notes to help you remember.
LAURIE: I suppose you're right. But what can I do?
I don't know what to write down.
SUE: There are different things you can do.
For one, the university offers a special free course on note-taking.
You should go to the course. Also, I am pretty good at taking notes.
I can help you on this exam.
I will photocopy all my notes, and you can compare them to your notes.
Then maybe you will see what kinds of things to write down.
LAURIE: That would really help me, Sue.
I appreciate it. All this makes me feel like an idiot.
SUE: Don't feel that way. I know you are very smart.
Note-taking is a special skill. All students need to learn it.
Some people are very smart, but they just haven't learned how to take notes yet.
I'm lucky because I had a good English teacher in high school.
She taught me how to take good notes. It's not hard.
LAURIE: Alright. University and high school seem very different to me.
I suppose I just need to learn how to manage lecture classes. Then I will do better.