The Art of Reading

The email said, “Class at the Maucker Union today, so come on down and we will have an immersive experience.”

“What could that mean?” I thought, as I walked from the library to Union. “Are we going to interview people? Are we observing?”

I found a table with a couple other girls from the class seated around it, and noticed a bunch of newspapers. This made me even more confused. But then Anelia told us that our class time would be spent reading the newspaper.

I love reading; absolutely love it. When I was little I used to read books upon books and I was constantly searching for a new story. But ever since I got to college, and even in my later high school years, I slowly quit reading for fun and only read when I had to for class. By the time I finished reading a 20-page AP History assignment, I had no time for free-reading, nor the desire to look at more words on a page. This is really sad, because one of my favorite things turned into something I was forced to do, which took away the fun from it.

But yesterday; yesterday was different. I went into the class expecting to do a major assignment that would involve a lot of work and time, but instead we simply read the paper. For an hour and fifteen minutes we read newspapers. And it was awesome.

Mostly, I read the NY Times, which consisted mainly of political articles, especially concerning Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, but also Barack Obama’s supreme court nominations (proposed). Up until now, I really have not been following the political news. I know that debates are happening, and Trump continues to do what he does, but I don’t usually spend an hour and fifteen minutes reading about it. So I took this chance to really try to understand what is going on in the world outside the University of Northern Iowa. I actually learned quite a bit, and would not have done so had I not had this opportunity.

The environment was surprisingly relaxing, which was great. I figured I would be distracted by all the people and the noise, but I was able to concentrate on what I was reading. And it was actually nice to have the background noise, because I could let my mind wander a little, without being able to hear myself think.

I wish I had classes like yesterday’s experience more often. It really helped me to relax and it took some pressure off of my day. I essentially forced myself to not focus on anything other than the page and words in front of me, and it was very beneficial. I liked being on the other side of the life of a journalist; reading what other journalists have written and seeing how they interact with their audience. I learned a lot, and had fun doing so, which is definitely a rare occurrence these days.

Students typically do not get the opportunity to read for the sole purpose of reading. So much of the time, reading is about picking out the important pieces, or evaluating the writer’s style. But sometimes it’s nice to just read without worrying about analyzing every word on the page. I really enjoyed it, and hope I get the chance to have a class like this one again, soon.



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