I've now completed Day Two of a three-day training course that's making me hearken back to my days in high school (and some college classes) and not in a good way. There are two instructors for this course, and the second instructor told us NOT to take notes because "If you're taking notes, you're not paying attention."

It bothered me. I'm a note-taker. I take notes constantly in my professional life (and in my educational life, too). And I hardly ever refer to them. Because the act of writing something down on paper helps me to write it down in my long-term memory. I don't know if I was always this way, but it's the way I learned to learn. Habits are hard to break, and so when this instructor told us not to take notes, I felt like he was basically telling me not to learn.

Did I say anything? No, of course not. First off, I was one of the odd ones in the class, in that I'm young-ish and female. That was not the case for the rest of the class, most of whom could probably be called Good Ol' Boys. And there were a few of them in the corner, in the back row, snickering and making jokes and interrupting and basically being huge distracting pains in the ass. To me, not the instructor.

These are adults. Seriously? They still act like that? How long has it been since you've been in high school?

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I felt myself drifting into my own high school mindset. I was getting upset and frustrated and just wanted to learn. I'm as much a smart-ass as the next person, but I try not to waste other people's professional time with it. One or two good-natured cracks allows a class to relax and smooths out the learning process. Dominating every single new topic with half-assed attempts at sarcasm, wit or humor does nothing but make me angry.

So how about you, Niners? How do you learn? Is anyone else here a note-taker? If so, do you ever read over your notes?