Monday, 19 May 2008

The Perks of Bullet-Pointing 350 Pages of Notes

One of our professors suggested that we go through our notes and whittle them down repeatedly until we have about a page of key points for each of our four exams. I wasn't going to argue with him, because exams at Oxford terrify me. Still, I started to stress out after it took almost a week just to weed out the obviously unnecessary parts from my 350 pages of single-spaced notes, because I think you're ideally supposed to have time at the end to actually look over the finished product. But I kept on keeping on and started bullet-pointing the 150 pages that remained, which is also taking an absurdly long time.

And then tonight, out of nowhere, I was bullet-pointing and realized that I understood Levi-Strauss for the first time in my life. (I'm not totally thick, I got the part about binaries and underlying structures. I just sort of glossed over the distinctions between phonemic systems and systems of terminology and systems of attitudes and the a : b, b1 : b2 thing.) It was like a light turned on and it all made sense and for the first time ever, I don't think Levi-Strauss is completely mad. I do have a migraine, but that's fine. Apparently, that's part of this "learning" that people keep talking about. Fascinating!

1 comment:

Kameron said...

Yeah, L-S is really hot.

Not as hot as my pal Saussure . . .

But hot nonetheless.