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The graduate's dilemma 
22nd-Feb-2009 11:00 pm
As an undergraduate, I was particularly OCD with regards to my lecture notes and all the papers and book chapters I collected while making those notes. To the extent that I now have about a dozen colour code lever arch files filled with notes taken on everything from Foramnifera to human socioevolution, all cluttering up my parents' house.

Ten years of moving from flat to flat, always living with flatmates, has given me an abject hatred of clutter. Even with DVDs and books I defy the geek stereotype and abhor redundancy and large collections. I borrow rather than buy books and use bookcrossing to keep books flowing through my hands. I just don't like accumulating things in the place I live.

Which sadly has lead to me imposing on the InnerRents to keep the things I won't take: in some cases it's just things my flatmates have duplicates of,and I don't mind that, but all these undergraduate notes are a bit much.

It's just... there's so much knowledge in there it seems a shame to throw it all out, and yet I don't know what to do.

So I'll probably sort through stuff and figure out what's binnable and what's worth archiving somehow.

Anyone got a use for 4 years worth of undergraduate palaeontology?
22nd-Feb-2009 10:54 pm (UTC)
I got me a filing cabinet for my notes (and other paper, but a good half are course notes). I'm tempted to buy a few textbooks and toss them but I suspect it would cost me a few hundred pounds to get enough textbooks on some of the later year stuff and I really don't have that sort of money to spend on what amounts to reducing clutter.
22nd-Feb-2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
Yes. Unfortunately I already have four years of palaeontology. I might be interested in textbooks that I don't already have.
22nd-Feb-2009 11:02 pm (UTC)
Offer them up on MySkip (I'll do it for you if you don't want to make an account just for this).

Someone may have a use for them.
22nd-Feb-2009 11:14 pm (UTC)
I wish I had this problem. I am such a fucking clutter packrat.
22nd-Feb-2009 11:42 pm (UTC)
...if by 'use' you mean 'could be useful as research for a story idea I'm not even sure if I am writing yet' when I am a dreadful packrat and running about of space?

Which can be summed up as "YES, but realistically, probably no. :( :( :("
22nd-Feb-2009 11:53 pm (UTC)
I know how you feel. I have 2 degrees worth of notes and find it hard to part with as I am still learning everyday on the type of job I am in and do need to refer to my old college notes, so in my case it is a bit different. Nowadays lectures tend to be put online and people make notes on their laptops, so don't tend to accumulate as much paperwork as students used to.

If you had lots of time on your hands, you could read through and therefore revise your 4 years of work and type it all up/scan it all in, so it is on your computer!! But that would take a long time....well in my case anyway...I have about 30 folders of notes!!!

I know from talking to my aunts or people of my parents generation who told me that they have spent their whole lives taking the undergraduate notes with them from house to house only to never read them again. Then they finally give in in their older age and threw them out!

Good luck with finding a new home for them!
22nd-Feb-2009 11:54 pm (UTC)
I would, but it depends on how much it costs etc :(
23rd-Feb-2009 12:14 am (UTC)
If you can get access to a scanner and PDF file creator software, scan your notes in as JPEGs and assemble them as PDF files. Then bin the paper and keep the PDFs.
23rd-Feb-2009 12:43 am (UTC)
/is what I'm planning to do. We were talking about this in the pub the other night, friend said it's what he's done, and it'll help save some space in teh basement.
23rd-Feb-2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
*nods* I'm running into a bit of a problem with mine in that the ink I used to take the notes bled into the cheap notebook paper, which means that I haven't quite figured out the appropriate scanner setting to ensure that it doesn't pick up the dark marks on the other side of the page. However, since I spent so much time taking those notes -- and some of them are quite good, especially from one class where several sections are nearly verbatim -- it's worth the time and effort to preserve them properly!
23rd-Feb-2009 10:20 am (UTC)
If you are hoping to make a career in academia, I would keep them - if you are able to search them for references and so on...

I through all mine out when I decided not to be an academic. That said, I looked at my PhD a couple weeks ago for the first time in maybe ten years - looking for a reference!
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