I am an awful student. In class, I make disgusting noises, fidget, doodle, pick at things that shouldn’t be picked at, wink randomly, make inappropriate comments to my classmates and sweat uncontrollably. My mind wanders so much that I can’t keep on one line of reasoning for more than a few seconds and my cognitive ability makes Jessica Simpson look smart. I get bad grades, can never answer a question in class and am so cantankerous that some of my classmates refuse to study with me.
I have other issues too – I can’t get dates, have a nervous twitch in my left eye and sometimes think I’m Elvis – but let’s focus on my educational problems for now.
My notebook knows more than I do. Before every lecture, I obediently remove my spiral bound sheets from their special place in my backpack and flip through to where the last class let off. When the professor starts speaking my pen starts writing and words go from my ears to my fingers without ever crossing the cognitive part of my brain.
Some evenings I will flip through my notes and wonder how so much content was introduced without my noticing. Graphs, equations, people and dates limp off the page looking like a foreign language. Sometimes I vaguely remember the moment of their introduction, but most of the time I look at these random facts the way I look at six month-old yogurt in the back of the fridge: How did that get there?
My doodles, forgotten over the course of the day despite the hours I spend preparing them, look like artful masterpieces in a second examination. In fact, I think some of today’s “masterpieces” may even be doodles in wooden frames.
I wish my notebook could go to class for me. It would sit quietly in some corner and record things. Instead of relying on neurons for memory, it would use the indelible markings of pen and ink as a permanent ledger of the professor’s thoughts.
My notebook wouldn’t get distracted. Although sometimes I think notebooks can be romantically involved, the drama of life rarely penetrates the simple mind of an inanimate object and even the most suave pad of college rule doesn’t have romantic entanglements. Class content alone would dominate my notebook’s mind.
My notebook wouldn’t ask dumb questions or be at all disruptive. It might shuffle a bit now and again to turn a page, but its noises would always be appropriate for a class environment. My notebook would be in everyone’s study group and give notes to all the students who missed class.
If my notebook could take tests, write papers and do homework, I would really be in business. I would have to be careful that none of my impromptu artwork made it onto an exam, but my notebook is pretty smart about these things. Most professors test from lecture material anyway and a clean regurgitation of class content without human emotion would get a top grade every time.
I am trying to figure out a way to make this work; when I do, watch out. My notebook will rule the day.