Chapter 3 - Keeping the Journal: A Written Record of New Ideas
"Once a day...call yourself to an account what new ideas, what new proposition or truths you have gained, what further on firmation of known truths, and what advances you ahve made in any point of knowledge"
--Isaac Watts, Improvement of the Mind
Commonplace book -- personal journal -- used for self-education. As you read, you should follow this three-part process:jot down specific phrases, sentences and paragraphs as you come across them; when you've finished your reading, go back and write a brief summary about what you have learned; then write your own reactions, questions and thoughts.
*The goal of classical self-education is this: bot merely to 'stuff' facts into your head, but to understand them. Incorporate them into your mental framework.
-The first step to understanding is to grasp exactly what is being said, and the oldest, most reliable way of grasping information is to put it into your own words. Classical self-education demands that you understand, evaluate, and react to learn.
I am going to have a lot to learn. I am not very good at 'narration' - I am teaching my kids though. This next exercise will be tough for me. As I was taking notes - practically word for word - I was reading (and writing) that I need to be summarizing what I am reading. I am going to try - that is not how I take notes....
Third Step: Practice taking notes as you write and then summarizing.