September 4, 2010

Donkeys Who Give Homilies and Play the Zither

I have various systems for taking notes in class. One thing I do is reserve the margins of my filler paper for items that are apart from the point of the course. They might be odd or funny quotes from the teacher or one of the students, things I recall because of something mentioned in the lecture, or something funny that happened in the classroom. It's like how I write irrelevant things on baseball scorecards, e.g. whether the ceremonial first pitch was a strike, comments on the aim of the guy who tosses bags of peanuts, the price of beer, etc.

My academic adviser, who is far more optimistic about my potential than I am, has paved my way into a teaching assistant gig in a course I took some years ago when I was last in school. So today I have retrieved my notes and started to go over them, presuming that the professor will assume that I have learned what I was previously taught. I notice some particularly good marginalia from the course, some of which I thought I would share:

On accomplishment: "They might have done it wrongly, but they did it."

Mmm...spiritual horse ["Mmm" idiom is via Homer Simpson]

Meet the nominalist twins

Set bogon filter to high

Signal to noise ratio

Amo, amis, amit

Boethius: was exaggerating

The unseemliness of shrill violins

'Pickin' Up Change' is not a dance in classical musical proportion

Acrimonious debate on the Proslogion

The modern suffocating with theoretical possibility

Party foul: using starvation as an example on Ash Wednesday

Anastasius the librarian

"This morning I was reading Ecclesiastes..."

On objects: "That which throws itself against you."

The problem of inappropriate delight

Mmm...apex mentis

The deist football

On Cherry Garcia: "It is necessary to finish the whole pint and Pelagianism is made real"

"If you don't believe in the power of concupiscence, go get hooked on heroin and then come talk to me."

"I would rather starve than pay someone $11 to change euros."

S[acred] S[cripture]: the poor man's Aristotle

donkeys who give homilies and play the zither


Sarah said...

I'm one of the dopes who'll sit in class and note nearly word-for-word. I hate throwing things away, which works out great for me, because my instructors offered pearls of wisdom with every lecture. Such as:

"Liability. When managing factories that produce products with nuts, write warnings on all product packages. Otherwise we'll have dead people running around everywhere, and that is no good."

This was from managerial accounting.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Fermat's last theorem is also a work of marginalia? Written in 1637 and not solved for 358 years :Fermat wrote"I have discovered a truly marvelous proof that it is impossible to separate a cube into two cubes, or a fourth power into two fourth powers, or in general, any power higher than the second into two like powers. This margin is too narrow to contain it."