Some Korean teachers from my school went to Korea for a seminar-convention-esque meeting, so we won’t be having a class this week. I missed my classes already, and yet we had no homeworks assigned. Good thing though, our 선생님 asked us during our last meeting if we want to have a vocabulary exam for the next class, and surprisingly, everyone agreed to have one. It was cool since NO ONE would usually say yes to exams.
I consider myself lucky, because according to my E1 classmates who had their E2 earlier, their classmates weren’t even catching up to the lessons. I’m glad that at least in my class, we do good. In short, those were the classes who MIGHT say no to an exam. Hihi. Well we can never expect everyone’s learning pace to be the same. Like me, I find myself conversationally confident (though awkward-sounding and try-hard) and good at grammar points and when to use them, but I somehow SUCK at vocabulary. Not that I get them all mixed up or spelled incorrectly, but I have problems memorizing. Since elementary I have been very bad at memorization. And lastly I’m proud with my spelling and typing skills, whether it be on my laptop or my Blackberry phone. (I know I suck for not using iPhone or any Android phone.) Actually I considered getting a Blackberry phone because of the (1) cheaper unlimited data plan, and (2) 한글 practice, since I don’t have any choice but to type in 한글 through the QWERTY keyboard.
Some classmates I’ve encountered were extremely good at vocabulary, they even know words that weren’t even taught yet. Some can mix grammar points and make complex, yet good sentences. Some can make complicated sentences, though correct in thought, grammar and vocabulary used were awkward and somehow weird. Some are extremely bad at spelling, usually connecting the final consonants to the next character like 맞아요 spelled as 마자요, or mixing 어/여 and 오/어. And some have the weirdest 사투리 or Pyongyang-sounding pronunciations.
I was asked before what’s the difference between 에/애, or 왜/웨/외. Though this is not the exact or correct explanation, one can spell ‘seat/sit’ or ‘bare/bear’ but they’re two completely different words with a somehow similar pronunciation (by similar, not same). It’s a matter of spelling, not what it would do to the word if it was used instead. THOUGH there may be words that if you change the spelling, there would be another meaning *can’t think of proper words to example right now*.
Earlier, while I was on my way to work, I brought my notebook with me so I can at least internalize some words that I might be forgetting. Flashcards are for elementary… *oh shoot, I’m actually in ELEMENTARY. Reading my notebook, I just cover 한글 words with my fingers, and guess the word if I’m right or wrong. Now… how my stuff looks like:
I don’t know why but I like buying stuff from the same store. Recently I’ve been addicted with MUJI and their stationary station is just to die for. I want things to be uniform and organized. And don’t you think it’s more fun and exciting to learn when your things look good? ^^
This is the bigger notebook. May I just say that I’m a sucker for notebooks without lines? Well this is my classroom notebook because I feel it’s easier to jot down random notes when you’re not following any guidelines, and you can squeeze in little details when you need to add some more details.
Now why do I need another notebook? This is actually the first one I bought. After three days, I felt that it’s hard to write in a smaller notebook because your hand and wrist movements are limited. Therefore, I would always scrap out paper whenever I fail in estimating lengths of what I’m writing, or if I have errors.
And now why do I use two notebooks? I use the bigger one to jot down notes during class and when I get home or when I have time during weekends or when I got home from office when I don’t have classes, I transfer my notes from the bigger notebook to the smaller one. Which brings us to the importance of my colored pens…
BLACK – for general texts, answering homeworks through my notebook
BLUE – 단어 | for newly introduced vocabulary, either from our teacher or textbook
ORANGE – 문법 | for grammar patterns
GREEN – 비슷한/같은/달은 단어 | for similar, same and opposite words
PINK – 기타 | for other important information that I need to remember
PURPLE – 연습/복습 | for exercises and reviews
PENCIL – for answering exercises on textbook and workbook
I don’t know if I’m just plain OC… but this is definitely making my life easier. Whenever I write on my bigger notebook, things could get jumbled and complicated. So when I have to transfer my notes to my smaller notebook, I can categorize and prioritize what to transfer first, starting with the vocabularies, the synonyms and antonyms and add up some information if there is, and then proceed to the grammar.
Putting order in my study habit is definitely helpful, since I had problems with collating and reviewing during my E1. Sometimes I don’t know where I’ve written this or that, or why is this like that, etc. Putting colors on my notes make it look more exciting and interesting and at the same time, orderly and arranged.
How do you take down notes? Please comment ^^