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What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

  • 1.  What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 11-06-2018 07:46 AM
    Hi all,
    I finished with 5 binders of quizzes, exams, and notes. The notes are from San Francisco State University graduate program. Most of the notes are from concrete, steel and communication classes. Physical space is a bit of a problem at the moment. I'm not sure whether to trash them or not?

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    Sayed Maqsood S.M.ASCE
    Oakland CA
    (510)395-4361
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  • 2.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 11-07-2018 07:46 AM
    After I finished my graduate course in Civil Engineering (20 years ago), I also had all my notes, photocopies and books in a complete book-shelf. In that moment I decided to conserve it.
    My first work was not at the same city I studied, therefore I moved to the city and after six months I move the book-shelf to my new city.
    At work, I performed specific tasks that formed perhaps 5 % of the notes and books located in the shelf. Also I noticed that my notes (that I considered were well made) were not enough for the specific tasks I wanted recall. I started to consult specific books that in my work place they have.
    After a year, I returned my book-shelf to my parents store. Then I made my own work-notes that were never talked in classes.
    Six years passed, the humidity at my parents store damaged 60% of my notes and books. One day, my father told me that those books and notes where occupying to much space. I decided to conserve some notes of my best works I performed in graduate course as a sentimental memento. The others, were dropped to the trash and some good books (but old editions) were sold.
    Conclusion, I never consulted my notes again. I lost time and money trying to conserve all of them. When working, the relationship with your manager and colleagues transmit you the knowledge that it is specific for the place you work.
    Twenty years ago, one still consulted books because the Internet does not have too much information. Also, today you have access to electronic books in a pair of minutes if you bought it or if it is available free in the Internet. You can solve problems 'on the fly' consulting Internet of your work colleagues.
    I recommend you: choose some sentimental notes as a souvenir; then throw all your notes, sell your books and be FREE in your new status. If you consider it is not the time to do that, then put all that stuff in a store and time will tell you what to do with it.
    Regards,
    Ludger O. Suarez-Burgoa, PhD, C.Eng, M.ASCE
    Profesor Asociado (Associate Professor)
    Departamento de Ingeniería Civil, Facultad de Minas
    Universidad Nacional de Colombia

    losuarezb (at) unal dot edu dot co
    http://www.geomecanica.org/





  • 3.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 11-07-2018 11:37 AM
    I have been surprised how often I've referenced old notes throughout my career (15 years so far). In my opinion, you should definitely keep them.

    When physical space was an issue for me, I put them into a rented storage unit, until such time as I could take them to my cubicle or office at work. You could also scan them (or have them scanned) so you have an electronic copy.

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    Stephanie Slocum P.E., M.ASCE
    Founder
    Engineers Rising LLC
    www.engineersrising.com
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  • 4.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 12-24-2018 11:40 PM
    I have kept all my books but the notes have the basic information that I learned in Class. So my notes went to recycle years ago. Most of the time, I will look through the books or new books that are in my library. You should have a library with your books and reference code books.

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    George Miles P.E., M.ASCE
    President
    Alligator Engineering Inc
    Edgewater FL
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  • 5.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 12-26-2018 01:23 PM
    I had kept all my notes and exams along with lab reports in good condition and in an organized manner. I used to review them once in a while for recalling my memories.

    After several years of professional work, I used to find myself looking for specific notes to deal with a work-problem. Then I gave some of them to relatives who entered the civil engineering college study.

    These notes comprise an archive that is actually part of one's life and should not be treated carelessly.

    I wish I could live one day of my college days now.....

    Best

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    Ala Al-Kazzaz C.Eng, M.ASCE
    Procurement Consultant
    Holly Springs NC
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  • 6.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 01-04-2019 01:35 PM
    I kept all of my notes and books from my masters and undergraduate work. I recently got rid of almost all of my notes and homework because I had not looked at them for many years. However, my books were valuable resources during school and after. I would keep my books for sure. I observe students now who google everything and seem to have little need for books or notes.

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    David Schiess P.E., M.ASCE
    Shelley ID
    (208)313-2460
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  • 7.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 11-07-2018 11:39 AM
    Save them at all costs.  You will need them for the PE Exam!

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    Bevin Beaudet P.E., M.ASCE
    President/Owner
    Bevin A. Beaudet, P.E., LLC.
    West Palm Beach FL
    (561)225-1214
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  • 8.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 11-07-2018 10:15 PM
    Thank you all kindly for your feedback. However, I had to fly for a vacation and my room might not be available once I come back. It was a month to month contract. I took three binders with me, still it turned out to 31kg and you're  allowed to take 25kg. I worked it out with the crew, for the first time, it's OK. Plus I already have the PE manual PDF in USB flash drive. It's more putting hard work on notes, projects, and ....

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    Sayed Maqsood S.M.ASCE
    Oakland CA
    (510)395-4361
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  • 9.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 05-13-2021 12:12 PM
    Hello Sayed,

    Every time I start a semester, I make physical and digital folders for each class to organize all the instructions, lectures and exam content. Every time I end a semester, I examine my physical and digital folders for their content and copies of information I would still need to hold onto. Then, after donating copies of exam content to a test bank, I purge every copy from both folders and make more room to put the physical notes in boxes and digital notes in sub-folders, all organized chronologically.

    It is usually textbooks that can take up more space. I have only sold textbooks that I could sort through with the class content as a proxy, whereas I always make room for the remaining notes, whether with another box, or a flash drive.

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    Alexander Granato A.M.ASCE
    Student
    Bexley OH
    [email protected]
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  • 10.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 05-14-2021 10:32 AM
    To keep or toss is the age old dilemma. I bought a  Fujitsu ScanSnap high speed scanner several years ago as a way of reducing paper clutter. It's admittedly a pricey piece of equipment but has allowed me to toss a lot of paper records that i have been carting around as well as to manage the ongoing deluge of paper that i want to save. As to my undergrad and grad notes, the value was primarily sentimental and I was eventually able to toss - but only after many moves and many years.

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    Mitch Winkler P.E., M.ASCE
    Houston, TX
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  • 11.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 05-17-2021 09:22 AM

    Notes are of limited use if you're good with the textbook (which holds much more weight as a reference in practice). So start by pruning down to only what you believe are the most necessary notes. For me, all could go. 


    Next, any book you never opened... sell it unless you're in that specific field for your career or a core requirement of your future PE or SE.  If you're not familiar with the content it'll be nearly useless and you're better off borrowing something on the off chance you need it. 


    With what's left, watch over 3-4 years what you use and repeat. You'll be surprised how little you need to carry. Also, to the extent possible, future investments in reference docs should be digital versions.  Then you never have to wonder if it's worth it to keep it. 



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    Cliff Jones Ph.D., P.E., S.E., M.ASCE
    Austin TX
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  • 12.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 11-07-2018 11:38 AM
    I agree with Ludger.  You probably will find little use for anything except tables in your documents.  Engineering standards change about every 2-3 years, so while the principals of what you did will stand, the specifics probably will not.  It sounds like you are focusing on structural, and that stuff changes by state, city, and country.

    If you really want to keep them, spend $100 and have them scanned.  Or spend $100 and buy a printer/scanner during Black Friday, and scan them yourself, and keep the printer/scanner.  My brother has printed about 80,000 pages and is still going.  For 5 books you can probably get them all on one flash drive.

    Keep your thesis or dissertation documents on a different flash drive or two.  Label them well, and put them all in a safety deposit box (if you have one) or lockbox with your passport.   You will probably use your passport more.



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    Dwayne Culp, Ph.D., P.E., P.Eng, M.ASCE
    Culp Engineering, LLC
    Rosenberg TX
    (713)898-1977
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  • 13.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 11-08-2018 07:30 AM
    I saved most of my textbooks and I still have a few. My notes, after several years, were just baggage, so I threw them away. However, I am glad that I saved the textbooks because, by chance, I wound up being next door neighbors with the author (or co-author) of two of my math books. He was a fine man in his nineties and was pleased that I kept one of them and he gave me a copy of the one that I had sold while in school.

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    James Worrell
    Mostly Retired
    PE, RLS (retired)
    Raleigh NC
    [[email protected]]
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  • 14.  RE: What Would You Do With University Notes, Quizzes, and Exams?

    Posted 01-05-2019 10:21 AM
    I kept all my notes from undergraduate and graduate study, as well as all my design notes during my career. They proved to be useful from time to time. However, now I'm in the process of scanning them and getting rid of the hard copies. The last five years of my practice were all in electronic files to start with.

    Since, this way, they don't take physical space and are easy to retrieve, they are nice to keep, at least as memorabilia!



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    Neil Kazen, M.Eng., M.Sc., P.Eng.
    FASCE, FCPCI, FEC,
    Retired Structural Engineering Manager, Transportation Division, SNC-Lavalin
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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