Examples of my bio notes — Critique me!

These are excerpts from the notes I took in my bio class. I tried to use the “nd” version of and (instead of the dot) but I was writing kind of fast so in general it looks sort of sloppy (what is shorthand for?). And I was tired. But here’s how each page should start out because I know it makes a lot more sense even if you just know how it begins… Another note: it’s paraphrased dictation — not what one would consider normal “lecture notes.”

Page 1 : (… why more energetically active animals) “would want a closed circulatory system. But I talked about how if you have a closed system, it has to obey Ohm’s Law which states that flow is driven by a pressure gradient…”
Page 2: “So the last time we talked about circulatory systems, I told you that I wanted you guys to think about the circulatory system as three different types of thought experiments. The three possibilities (of arrangements) are first, the ‘railroad’ system (in which) the train tracks…” (My prof has weird wording sometimes…)
Page 3: “So that one heart that beats at a low pressure. (That is) so that it doesn’t blow out the lungs and one at a high pressure…” (This one you need to see the page before it in order for it to make sense. But he was talking about having a right and left side to the heart — two hearts, one at a high pressure to get blood up to your head and the other low enough that it doesn’t explode the microscopic capillaries of your lungs…yeah..)
Anyway, I posted these because I told you guys that I keep confusing my “nd” strokes with my “there”s and some other words that begin with “nd” — I made my own analogical beginning for “endo-” which is just “nd” detached in front of the rest of the word: endothermic = ND/THEM, endergonic = ND/GN, endoscopy = ND/SKE.
Please let me know if you guys have any suggestions! And I know my proportions are off sometimes. I was tired and I can read my own writing, which is all that matters! 🙂

(by Stan for everyone)


8 comments Add yours
  1. Also, I was wondering if any of you have found a reason as to why shorthand never really "boomed" in that it remained a specialty skill throughout its life (and still does). As far as I know there are very few people who learned it for the sake of learning it and most people who know it either are eccentrics like myself or were forced to learn it at some point (for a job). People assure me in college that it's useful, which I know for a fact is true, but not one person has shown any interest to learn something that is potentially an "edge" against their colleagues who are fumbling by at 20wpm long hand or even those with 60 wpm typing on their laptops. Are people mostly just lacking motivation? unwilling to put forth the mental effort? Everyone SAYS, "Wow, I wish I could do that." "could I copy some of your [transcribed] notes?" "that's so crazy, you get every word?" I feel like I stand alone at a university of 39,000 students in this skill. Anyone else puzzled by this? Why WOULDN'T you learn shorthand and how the hell did I do all the things I do now WITHOUT IT?

  2. Very nice. I could read most of it. To be honest, I can only read most of mine and I know the subject very well.
    A suggestion.
    Your 'f' seems a little large. mine is in the center between the lines with the 's' closer to the bottom line and the 'v' closer to the top line. I couldn't see a 'v' word (but may have missed it) to compare, so maybe you're okay.

    With regard as to why people don't want to learn it. Like you said, they're not moviated enough. If they don't need it for a school grade or a job they won't learn it, just like a foriegn language. I tried to learn Spanish because I thought I might need it and I thought it might be fun. I think I was the only one the class for that reason. And shorthand has been compared to learning another language.

  3. I can read your notes perfectly. They are very clear.

    I see what's happening. You're making the nd too shallow, so it's becoming almost like an md. Try to make it as if you were drawing a quarter circle, ending in the middle of the space. As you start the curve on the line, think of swinging up to the middle. Here's the idea:

    If you're starting a word with nd, end it a little shallower so that you can join to the other consonants, but if you're writing nd alone, you can make it distinct as I showed above.

  4. Thanks for your suggestion. Yeah, I know. Something about my handwriting just sort of naturally makes starting strokes really big for some reason. And I frequently sometimes write f's that look like s's and v's that look like f's. I have a hard time putting the right amount of curve so that it's only a slight bend like pulling on a guitar wire. Mine always come out as semi circular strokes unless I'm really paying attention to my writing. I also make my e's too large sometimes. Hmm. But I guess shorthand does take a LOT of energy to learn, at least to get over the hump where it would be faster and more reliable to write in and read back what you wrote just by using your longhand. My friend tried learning shorthand with me but eventually just stopped trying to use it in lecture. He turned lazy and just wrote in long hand because he was just beginning and still pausing between letters of Gregg and was hence, much slower at writing. Oh well, I suppose that makes us folks who persisted beyond the beginning stages to speeds of 100+ that much more unique and at an advantage :).

  5. The key to a proper v and f is to think of a comma: slightly flattened hook on top and straight diagonal down. The curve comes from the initial movement of the pen. It's one of the most difficult strokes to master.

    Also, practice your dev blends: they should start and end on the line, and take the whole space. The same principle applies to "this", except that the stroke takes only half a space.

    Writing big should not be a problem, as long as you keep proportions. The writing of one of the greats, Albert Schneider, was large, but his proportions are outstanding. Make your a's big and your e's really small. Same with t and d: the d should extend to the middle of the space, while the t should barely come up the line, as if you were just flicking the pen up a little. The s should be like a comma, very small, but the f and v take the middle and whole space, respectively. N's should be very small, but m and men blends should be bigger. The contrast between large strokes and small strokes makes the whole thing very legible and distinct.

    Here's a small exercise to help you with the f and v curves (the "Barrel Roll"):

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