Writing Notebooks

Have you ever stopped to think about how private a course notebook is? My economics notebook features the complete array of "Erica shorthand," with stars in the margins next to lines of important notes, question marks when I don't understand something, and self-directed messages in the upper right corner on what I need to do this weekend. The handwriting is mine, the spelling mistakes are unarguably mine, the telegraphic style and abbreviations, all mine. If a friend asks to borrow my notes, she must first decipher my handwriting and abbreviations, and then intuit that 'rel.' could stand for relationships, relevant, or religion, that 'I' stands for Investment, but sometimes for Income, depending on the context, and that 'combien' means my mind and pen slipped into French as I blanked on the english word.

Since economics classes are inherently boring, and since I am a self-proclaimed clockwatcher, there is something interesting in the top left corner of the page akin to a countdown. A 20, scratched out, and next to it, a 15, scratched out, working down to the triumphant 0. I take great delight in sribbling over the latest figure, signaling the progress into the next five-minute interval separating me from the freedom of the end of class.