Satire: Students forget how to take notes by hand

‘I haven’t written anything down in two years’

Satire: Students forget how to take notes by hand

The following piece is satire and should not be misconstrued for actual reporting. Any resemblance to a student, staff or faculty member is coincidental.

The transition from online to in-person learning has created various challenges for students. From social interaction to in-person exams, everything old is new again. 

Previous social butterflies wait just a few minutes too long to introduce themselves to the person sitting next to them. Straight-A students flounder amid the loss of take-home exams. Still, there is one challenge brought about by in-person learning that students all across campus just can’t seem to shake: they have forgotten how to take notes. 

“I took 72 pages of notes during the first semester of my foriegn policy class,” said School of International Service sophomore Lucy Garcia. “During the midterm, I tried to control-F the Iran-Contra affair, but I ended up just angrily jabbing the paper in front of the whole class. It was a disaster.”

Another student forgot how to take notes entirely. “I tried to create letters, but my hand just wouldn’t move,” says School of Public Affairs junior Elijah Bennet. “I haven’t written anything down in two years — no journal entries, no grocery lists and certainly no notes. The first two haven’t caused an issue. I’ve lost connection to my feelings and I shop based on vibes alone. But it’s becoming increasingly more obvious that the note situation is going to cause an issue.”

One student struggled to read his own handwriting: “I procrastinated writing my essay until two days before it was due,” said College of Arts and Sciences senior Jesse Akhtar. “I thought it would be fine. I took copious notes — I did the hard work already, right? Wrong. I couldn’t decipher my own handwriting.” 

Luckily, Akhtar’s story ended happily. He shared his concerns with his linguistics professor, who suggested that he hire a translator to decipher his writing. As it turns out, Ahktar’s writing differed so profoundly from the English language, the Smithsonian took an interest in analyzing it. Surprisingly, they found his writing not consistent with any language ever preserved by any historian. The museum system plans to open an exhibit focusing exclusively on the now extremely valuable documents produced by Akhtar. 

As for the administration, it too has experienced difficulties trying to mitigate this crisis. In a lengthy and convoluted email issued last week, the University encouraged students to “just remember how to take notes” and “please stop being bad students.” 

As for the students — barring Akhtar — their paths to success remain muddled. 

You can view Akhtar’s exhibit at the American History Museum beginning Nov. 10. 

Nora Sullivan is a junior in the School of International Service and a satire columnist at The Eagle.

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