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Some notes on note-taking

Picture it: The gentle rustling of papers flapping and pages turning, the scratching of pens on notebooks, the snoring of the kid next to you, and your professor lecturing at a speed that makes you wonder if she's going to combust. Odds are, somewhere in this scenario, if you are like me then you're lost and writing furiously trying to take some kind of notes before the slide changes for the 47th time. But there's a problem; the professor is moving faster than you write. Typically the best thing to do is to raise your hand and ask her to slow down. The next step however, comes the point of this Note.
The best way to take notes is to take as few as possible! By this I mean why write two words when you can write half of one? It'll allow you to keep up with the professor and return your attention to the board or the slides. "But how do you do this word-cleaving Black Magic, Frank?" you ask? You don't need seven years at Hogwarts for it. It's simple: short hand. Try to develop some sort of method of short hand that works for you and allows you to not waste time writing pesky words. Use symbols, abbreviations, etc that mean something to you. Here are a few examples of my personal favorites I use every day:
Abbreviation - abv
Because - b/c
Therefore - --> (Don't use T4 - This is an abbreviation for a thyroid hormone)
Amino Acid - aa
Protein - (P) [a circled p]
Glucose - gluc (once again, be careful as Glu is the abv for Glutamine)
Sequence - seq
Double-stranded DNA - dsDNA
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious - Um, you get the point.
So my Note to you for today is to develop some sort of similar system that works for you. This is a fantastic technique to use in ALL classes, even the ones you are perfectly comfortable in. You'll be surprised how much this reduces the time you are looking away from the PowerPoint and how stressed you may feel in a fast paced class. This short hand system of yours will allow you to watch your professors hair set aflame as she combusts from lecturing at light speed while your classmates scribble away with unnecessary words.