Why Have We Become So Discontent Towards Reading?

Why Have We Become So Discontent Towards Reading?

Maybe those class readings really did bore us to death.
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For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been the type of person who always had a new book to read. I would always find those more interesting to read than whatever class assignments I had with books or short stories. In fact, I still remember being placed in a reading helping class during elementary school because my comprehension towards class readings was surprisingly low compared to the full attention I would give to the books I chose to read by myself. That class, however, was extremely short lived (as I made it a point to prove to the teacher that my reading level wasn’t low at all) and eventually I gravitated towards balancing out school and personal readings to a certain extent; I still definitely found outside of school readings to be more interesting than the ones assigned for class and the library became my new home.

When I entered middle school, my taste in literature went from the basics of children’s books to that of young adult series and I found myself, yet again, dedicating more time to these readings instead of focusing on the reading materials in school. To be honest, I don’t really know why I kept doing that in the first place if I knew that focusing on these books instead of other material would only lower my focus (and grades) towards school. It was at this point I was starting to feel like the readings we had assigned in school just weren’t enough and it was time to step it up a little.

Come high school and I was starting to feel comfortable towards the fact that the readings we had assigned in our English classes were actually different and slightly more fulfilling than those we had to read prior. I actually found myself being drawn to them and, for once, actually analyzing passages. I was so excited and thrilled being able to use this kind of analytical stance towards literature that I even brought that over with my outside of school reading and suddenly my books were marked with notes and underlined passages. This sort of behavior encouraged me even further to take on the “higher level” English courses in my school and I was starting to become even more confident with this new found respect towards in-class literature. Soon enough I found myself literally fan-girling over many books and trying to spring up conversations as much as I could about them. Books taught me many things that school didn’t. Not only did it teach me to be more proficient in my reading and writing skills, but it just opened my mind to a new form of thinking. I felt like I was in my own little world and there was so much more to learn.

However, a new realization hit me when I started talking about these pieces of literature and books with my classmates. I realized that not many people had this positive light towards books in the first place and that there was this sort of stigma against it. Why is that?

The answer was pretty obvious and even now, I still see it amidst my college classes. I think it’s because of how much schools prioritize shoving material down student’s throats to prepare them for exams, it’s just made everyone sort of afraid or disinterested in reading freely. I can’t even remember big instances in which I found myself discussing books we’ve read with any of my friends. If anything, these discussions about in-class literature were always negative as I found myself having to agree that it was all boring to satisfy the conversation.

What can we do to end this stigma against reading? Why do I see so many people turned off by the idea of actually reading books with their free time instead of doing something else they’d rather do? Well, it’s not like we can force anyone to read; forcing material just brings it back to the endless cycle of not wanting to read because someone is telling you to.

I can’t force you to read, but I can only encourage you. I encourage you to read more than you already do for your classes because it enables you to learn more freely. You might even find more insight reading books of your choice instead of what others tell you to read because it’s completely new knowledge. You’re learning on your own and it’s an amazing process and everyone is capable of doing that. It's so convenient to find any reading material, too, as it's readily available at your finger tips on our phones, tablets, and computers.

So dear reader, if you’re itching for more knowledge outside of school but you’re unsure of where to start, then I encourage you to just pick up any book and read.

You never know what you might learn.

Cover Image Credit: pixabay

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To The Parent Who Chose Addiction

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

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When I was younger I resented you, I hated every ounce of you, and I used to question why God would give me a parent like you. Not now. Now I see the beauty and the blessings behind having an addict for a parent. If you're reading this, it isn't meant to hurt you, but rather to thank you.

Thank you for choosing your addiction over me.

Throughout my life, you have always chosen the addiction over my programs, my swim meets or even a simple movie night. You joke about it now or act as if I never questioned if you would wake up the next morning from your pill and alcohol-induced sleep, but I thank you for this. I thank you because I gained a relationship with God. The amount of time I spent praying for you strengthened our relationship in ways I could never explain.

SEE ALSO: They're Not Junkies, You're Just Uneducated

Thank you for giving me a stronger bond with our family.

The amount of hurt and disappointment our family has gone through has brought us closer together. I have a relationship with Nanny and Pop that would never be as strong as it is today if you had been in the picture from day one. That in itself is a blessing.

Thank you for showing me how to love.

From your absence, I have learned how to love unconditionally. I want you to know that even though you weren't here, I love you most of all. No matter the amount of heartbreak, tears, and pain I've felt, you will always be my greatest love.

Thank you for making me strong.

Thank you for leaving and for showing me how to be independent. From you, I have learned that I do not need anyone else to prove to me that I am worthy of being loved. From you, I have learned that life is always hard, but you shouldn't give into the things that make you feel good for a short while, but should search for the real happiness in life.

Most of all, thank you for showing me how to turn my hurt into motivation.

I have learned that the cycle of addiction is not something that will continue into my life. You have hurt me more than anyone, but through that hurt, I have pushed myself to become the best version of myself.

Thank you for choosing the addiction over me because you've made me stronger, wiser, and loving than I ever could've been before.

Cover Image Credit: http://crashingintolove.tumblr.com/post/62246881826/pieffysessanta-tumblr-com

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5 Songs to Add to Your Playlist This Month

Spring into finals week (and the summer) by "cleaning up" your playlist

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Here are some fun, fresh new tracks to check out as you finish out the rest of the school year and help you get out of your "music comfort zone!"

“Patience” by Tame Impala 

Genre: Electronic/Alternative

Tame Impala FINALLY released new music (!!), and this track is absolutely stunning. With frontrunner Kevin Parker staying on brand with the band's psychedelic, seemingly ethereal style, it sounds like a combination of 70s soft rock and waves of modern-day electronica, with Parker's voice drifting in and out in a kind of otherworldly, mellowed-out manner.

“Harmony Hall” by Vampire Weekend 

Genre: Alternative/Indie Pop

Vampire Weekend is also releasing an album, entitled "Father of the Bride", on May 3rd. From the looks of it, this track relates to the theme of marriage/weddings present in the album's title, and it is a fun, upbeat song that I have been listening to a lot in the morning as I'm getting ready for class! Ezra Koenig's voice is so unique and can cover a broad range, and I highly recommend listening to some of the band's other work as well ("Step" from their 2013 release "Modern Vampires of the City" is one of my all-time favorite songs!).

“Ready to Let Go” by Cage the Elephant 

Genre: Alternative/Alternative Rock

So many great artists are (finally) releasing new albums this year, and Cage the Elephant falls into this category. This track is an absolute banger and doesn't stray much from the band's style in that it includes a lot of loud guitar and dynamic vocals. Like Vampire Weekend, Cage the Elephant has been around since the early 2000s, and I highly recommend checking out some of their earlier work as well (big fan of their most recent album, actually!)

“Apple Orchard” by Beach House 

Genre: Indie/Electronic

Beach House is one of my favorite bands of all time, as I find a kind of an ethereal, beautiful sadness in the dreamy style of instrumentalist Alex Scally and lucid vocals of singer Victoria Legrand. This track is from their 2006 self-titled debut and is probably one of my favorite songs they've ever released. The lyrics are poetic and perfect for the post-finals enjoyment of spring weather, in that they preach relaxation and restfulness, and the song's electronic rhythms echo the essence of spring as well. If you like this song, then I highly recommend checking out the band's other albums as well (Depression Cherry is one of my favorite albums of all time).

“April Come She Will” by Simon & Garfunkel 

Genre: 60s Pop

No spring playlist is complete without a little Simon & Garfunkel! This song is a classic, its timeless, poetic lyrics capturing the epitome of the coming of spring and all its glory. In fact, I consider the entire album (entitled Sound of Silence) to be perfect for the pleasantness and feelings of renewal/natural revitalization associated with the coming months, so be sure to give it a listen if you haven't heard it before!

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