Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Doodling

In the first year of my PhD, after one of my classes, a classmate of mine who was an exchange student from Wales came up to me

"I'm on to you, Christopher," she said

"What do you mean?" I asked, taken a little aback.

"Next week I'll be doing my first seminar presentation in this course. And I've realized that if I look down at you and you're intently drawing precise, geometric doodles in the margins of your page, it means you're listening very closely to what I'm saying. But if I look down and you're madly writing away, you're not paying any attention at all, and what you're writing has nothing to with anything going on in the class."

Well, she certainly had me figured out. I've never been much of a note taker -- not much of a multitasker, I guess. I find I miss stuff when I'm writing, especially in a seminar class. But it's a nervous habit -- I like to keep my pen moving. And so in any situation when I'm sitting listening but without the particular need to take detailed notes, these abstract geometrical compositions creep up and down my margins, like fractals.

I'm thinking of this because in the last ten minutes of tidying up my office I happened across about a half a dozen half-filled pages on odd pads of paper ... the remnants of various meetings, I'm suspecting. Anyway, a gallery of doodles:



5 comments:

Mandy said...

Phew...I do the same thing...and I always thought that if profs--or whoever--saw that, they would think I wasn't listening.
Next time you notice me drawing in my margins, it means I'm taking in all the teleological goodness ;)

Anonymous said...

(added to note: I hate Google blogger, why won't it let me put in my password and name??? It's me Lesley)
Apparently doodling is a sign of a creative mind. At least, that's what we say in our teleconferences when the three of us are furiously doodling. Let's hope it's not a sign of what kind of creative mind people have depending on what they doodle. My coworkers tend to doodle faces and flowers whereas I tend to doodle blocks or lines and sometimes write my name and trace circles around the letters. Oh man, I must have been in some boring meetings if I can describe all that...

And note taking...sigh....I remember the lecture days. For some odd reason, all the notes I furiously scribbled ended up NOT being on the exams.

Sheena said...

Did that shazz get you in trouble in high school?

b said...

haha, ive all to often almost done a similar post, or thought of it while in class.
i think i want to cut out all my doodles from the past however many years and paste them on a giant canvas.
it will be a different approach to memoirs.

Melissa said...

You should see my first year sociology notes....my girlfriends and I nicknamed the class "penis drawing 101"...

hey, it was first year.....we were alot less mature back then....

(i have kept the notes though, for whenever i need a chuckle)