Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lecture Notes

1. A folded sheet of 81/2 x 11 paper on which, hastily scrawled, is a list of ten or twelve talking points, depending on the amount of time need to be covered.

2. A series of 3 x 5 index cards in which the ten or twelve talking points are listed along with sub-entries for each point, perhaps examples of books or authors or situations; some greater approximation of a detailed list.

3. One or more books into which credit card receipts, Post-it Notes, paper clips have been appended along with one or more pages having been dog-eared at their upper right corner (this last being based on the risky assumption that the intended lines will then quickly identify themselves once they have been called forth).

4. A formalized, computer-generated 8 1/2 x 11 sheet containing a detailed outline with at least two levels of subsets, possibly even containing entire paragraphs or scenes from a referenced source.

5. Depending on the time available to prepare them in advance of the lecture, these are the standard formats you deal with.

6. A possible variation on 1-4 supra occurs when one or more in the audience ask what you have come to think of Magical Questions, magical in the sense that they are transformative, transformative in the sense that they obviate the materials and formats referenced in 1-4 supra and shift the topic or topics away from the intent of the talking points listed on 1-4 supra, opening the door for the ad lib, the unexpected, the undiscovered, the rambunctious leap of association that produces communal energy and inspiration.

7. Number 6 is your favorite because it is one of the most direct ways of making the "lecture" interactive but also, selfishly, because it leaves you with the most intense high.

8. Lecture notes form a script for the shared experience of learning; the hearer of these notes hears something already known but not processed to completion. You hear this information in a way that is different from past ways you have seen or considered the material.

9. No one is bored.

10. Boredom is the enemy of lecture notes.

11. Boredom is the enemy of the reader, the writer, the listener, the speaker.

12. The mind is a fire fly.

13. A bored mind is a fire fly captured in a bottle.

14. See Hillary run. Run, Hillary, run.

15. Good lecture notes uncork the bottle.

16. Everybody's bottle.

17. It is boring to give the same lecture twice.

18. Thus 1-4 supra must be redone before each lecture.

19. Even if the persons hearing the lecture have not heard it before, it must still be different from the last time or the cork will remain in the bottle.

20. Run, Hillary, run.

21. The person giving the lecture must not be bored or uncertain or cynical or anything but open to connection.

22. The person hearing the lecture must be motivated away from thinking about repaying student loans.

23. It is a bad business for the lecturer if the persons being lectured to are having any thoughts about student loans.

24. Today's lecture is about the scene.

25. Accordingly, a number of scenes are playing in your mind, uppermost among them right now is Jack Nicholson in Five Easy Pieces, trying to order a plain omelet with wheat toast.

26. You want me to hold the chicken.


Anonymous said...

I want you to hold it between your knees.

Unknown said...

If I'd had more teachers like you, I wouldn't have dropped out of college.

But I wrote a lot of letters home, and some decent fiction, during lectures that professors could have given in their sleep, and apparently did.