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Set-up help!

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  • Set-up help!

    Hey everyone,

    First off, I'm just out of highschool, and will be attending MIT this term. Thus I've been under hefty stress about getting things ready before I go, and what needs to get done when I move, ( I'm from Houston, with 2 weeks of winter, so it's going to be a tad diffrent ) and I'm quite nervous about the curriculum.

    Anyway, I picked up the book, and REALLY liked the system. In two days I was done with it with about 12 pages in notes. It's already made me much more calm and focused on what I need to get done.

    While I recognize the great flexability in the system, I'm having a hard time getting my organization system working correctly.

    While I have a love for computers, as well as a treo700 that I used in the past for general to-do lists, I've never really been comfortable using an eletronic medium.

    So I'm going to be using a paper based one, but im having problems setting it up.

    The idea I seem to be leaning to at the moment, is using index cards for each next action item, and filing them into my categories. (I think im going to go with "general" for school related or major items, "minor," and "Errands." So I can have a card with it's notes and the next action neatly stored. But this isnt as compact as id like ( I want to be able to keep it with me at all times), so I may just be going with a notebook seperated into sections as my second option if I can't get it to work.

    Anyone have any ideas on a good way to set this up? Also, while it's not the method i'd like, I would be open to programs for the treo that people use, because it would be the best way if I could find a program/system I like. I've seen a few posts on the outlook program, but thats not an option for me.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by Daven; 07-19-2006, 03:29 PM.

  • #2
    I've been an MIT freshman. In my experience, the best organization system for the first term consists of:

    Big notebooks, one per course.
    File folders for handouts. One per course.
    List of assignments, with due dates on calendar.

    Done.

    Don't expect to have a huge amount of time for other stuff. Your "other" list will probably fit on a single index card.

    How you organize your things to do between now and then is up to you. But since classes start in about six weeks, you might not want to incur the overhead involved in setting up and learning a new system. Keep it simple.

    Katherine
    Last edited by kewms; 07-19-2006, 08:05 PM.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks for the tip. That seems like a resonable thing to do. kiss has been a favorite system of mine.
      Thanks for the advice.

      Comment


      • #4
        You may also wish to take a look at the following books:

        - The Organized Student by Donna Goldberg (ISBN 0-7432-7020-7)
        - Learning Outside the Lines by Jonathan Mooney & David Cole (ISBN 0-684-86598-X)

        Both titles offer good advice on organized at "school/college". The first is aimed more at the "school" level; don't let that put you off. The organization systems that Donna talks about are worth looking into and may be getter suited to your needs at MIT. The second title is is aimed at students with LD issues nevertheless, its a good read with lots of tips for surviving the college process.

        Given that your moving across country a few additionally suggestions. Take a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond or a similar store and grab their "back to college" guide. Usually a 1 page document. Good basic information on what you will need for the dorm etc. You can +/- to the list as you need ... however you should aim to have the bulk of stuff by the time you arrive ... reduces stress.

        Given the Boston weather (in winter) take trip to a weather site and look for the historical monthly weather reports. These will give you a good sense of when it gets cold/hot, how cold, wind cill etc. May not be exiting but it is useful.

        For clothing (winter in particular) I'd recommend that you wait. Boston will have a much better selection of cold weather clothing that Houston.

        Finally, remember that MIT and all colleges have lots of student resources. All you have to do is ask! If you got this far, you should have the ability to complete the course.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for the tips Re, I'll look into those books for sure, I'm from a pretty financially limited family and on a scholarship, so I need to make sure I get it right the first time.

          Ha, I have maybe 2 long sleeve shirts as far as cold clothes go, so the first winter should be fun.

          Thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Daven
            I'm from a pretty financially limited family and on a scholarship...I have maybe 2 long sleeve shirts as far as cold clothes go, so the first winter should be fun.
            It will still be fairly warm when you get there, which gives you time to assemble your winter wardrobe. Ask around about second-hand stores, military surplus stores, etc. where you will be able to get your cold-weather gear cheaply.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by kewms
              I've been an MIT freshman.
              Me too. 8 & 18. I don't wear a brass rat, though.

              Originally posted by kewms
              In my experience, the best organization system for the first term consists of:

              Big notebooks, one per course.
              File folders for handouts. One per course.
              List of assignments, with due dates on calendar.

              Done.

              Don't expect to have a huge amount of time for other stuff. Your "other" list will probably fit on a single index card.

              How you organize your things to do between now and then is up to you. But since classes start in about six weeks, you might not want to incur the overhead involved in setting up and learning a new system. Keep it simple.

              Katherine
              To just amplify a little on Katherine's comments, a typical MIT freshman schedule would include
              Physics
              Chemistry
              Math
              1 Humanities course
              + whatever other courses you can cram in.

              That's three problems sets a week, minimum. Lots of handouts in every class. Sports, extracurricular activities, exploring Boston, maybe. Most freshpersons are busy little beavers indeed. The calendar rules.

              Best Wishes,
              Mike Ogilvie

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Day Owl
                It will still be fairly warm when you get there, which gives you time to assemble your winter wardrobe. Ask around about second-hand stores, military surplus stores, etc. where you will be able to get your cold-weather gear cheaply.
                When I went off to MIT, my grandmother in Houston provided me with a "heavy winter coat." By the end of October, it was too lightweight to wear. Winter coats in Boston != winter coats in houston. Layers are good: T-shirts underneath shirts underneath sweaters. You can get a good idea about the cost and warmth of different winter coats by looking online at sites like Lands End and Eastern Mountain Sports. Quality is not a bad thing: decades later, I still wear my down parka on very cold days, although modern materials make down unnecessary.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You should also check out this thread on note taking formats:

                  http://www.davidco.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2418

                  I think the Cornell method is the best:
                  http://www.wcupa.edu/_academics/cae.tut/TCornell.htm
                  Last edited by remyc88; 07-20-2006, 08:20 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Day Owl
                    It will still be fairly warm when you get there, which gives you time to assemble your winter wardrobe. Ask around about second-hand stores, military surplus stores, etc. where you will be able to get your cold-weather gear cheaply.
                    Take a person from a cold climate with you when you go shopping, too. He will find you very amusing, but should be able to give good advice.

                    You can cheat a little bit if you live in one of the East Campus dorms and don't care about having no life. All the buildings between Massachusetts Avenue and Ames St. are connected (campus map at http://whereis.mit.edu/map-jpg?section=home), so if all you do is go to class and study, you can minimize the time you actually spend outside. (Legend has it that the architect who designed the main campus had his coat stolen while he was a student. He was too poor to buy another one, nearly froze to death in the Boston winter, and tried to save future students from his fate.)

                    Katherine

                    PS Mike, I was course 3. I do wear a brass rat, since I spend lots of time talking to technical people. The rat helps eliminate "well, do you know what a silicon wafer is?" and similar patronizing questions.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Read the book again

                      I am also a student. It's good you read the book and took notes- If you notice at the end of the book, David says to read it again and it will seem like a new book.
                      I took this advice and am noticing a lot of details I didn't see before, and applying a lot of ideas to new areas of study and home. For example I just re-read the project planning material, and now I am going to think of each course as its own project- not just from the perspective of
                      "what do I have to do to get a good mark?"- but also "what do I have to do to satisfy myself that this will have been worth the time/money/energy?"- what are my purposes, successful outcome visions, project plans, actionable items?
                      Thinking of school not just as a last minute panic before tests/projects are due, but as multiple well-thought out projects with do-able next actions- this could have amazing consequences for your life.
                      If you can start this now, you won't be overwhelmed in November.
                      Best wishes

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