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Transcript: Rachel Smith on Drawing in Class at TEDxUFM

Rachel Smith

The following is the full transcript of Rachel Smith’s TEDx Talk titled “Drawing in Class” at TEDxUFM event.

Listen to the MP3 Audio here: Drawing in class by Rachel Smith at TEDxUFM


When I was in high school, I was a pretty good student and I took very good notes. And my teachers really appreciated that.

My notes looked a lot like this most of the time. So you look at these notes and you say to yourself “This is great. This student is clearly paying attention in my class.” That’s what it looks like.

The trouble is that sometimes, my notes looked a little more like this. And this was a little hard, a little more problematic, because to the teachers it looked like I was drawing in class. And so I would get a different reaction.

But for me, it was just as easy to listen closely to what the teacher was saying if I was drawing images as it was if I was writing words. Sometimes, it was actually easier for me to listen and pay attention if my hand was doing something, and it didn’t matter if the images that were coming out had anything to do with what I was hearing. It was just easier for me to focus if I was drawing.

But teachers would stand in the front of the room and see me in the back of the room, because my last name started with an S and so I was always in the back. And they would say, “She’s drawing in class again.” And they’d make me stop and then they’d make me stand up in front of the class and recite some exercises to induce me to pay attention better next time.

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