It’s Thanksgiving Break, and many of you are at home with your parents. Are you studying for upcoming exams? Finishing papers? Finally buying the textbook and reading it? None of the above? If you’re looking to procrastinate, why not give your parents a good start on your holiday wishlist. Ask for a digital voice recorder.

Think back on this semester. How many classes did you miss or skip? Of those, how many did you miss or skip because you were coughing, sneezing, hungover, lazy, or just too tired? Probably all of them. Here’s an idea: Get a digital voice recorder. I had one during my undergraduate years, and it was a lifesaver.

If I was ever too tired or just with a head cold, I’d still trudge to class. Maybe I didn’t take notes, but I still didn’t miss anything. I would record the lecture, start to finish, and try to absorb as much as I could without pen and paper. This process was a lot less stressful, and I wouldn’t have a guilty conscience for skipping yet another lecture class.

I used a tape recorder, but I would recommend one that records to .mp3 or .wma. This way, you can store them on your computer and even send your recordings to your friends.

I did a quick search on Amazon and came upon the Olympus DS-40 Digital Voice Recorder. It records to both .mp3 and .wma, has 512MB of internal Flash memory, runs on AAA batteries, has 5 folders for organization, isn’t too ugly, and is priced under $150. But feel free to look around, yourself, for one that you like.