Having A Passion For Reading Doesn't Mean You Always Remember What You Read

Having A Passion For Reading Doesn't Mean You Always Remember What You Read

People say that reading every day improves reading comprehension and helps you remember what you read, but that doesn't seem to be true for everyone.
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Two of my most valued passions are reading and writing. Ever since third grade, reading has been my escape and my safe place when times were getting hard or I just needed a time to relax and immerse myself in the fictional world. Writing entered my life in seventh grade because of my Language Arts teacher, and her assignments made me realize that I adored writing poetry and fiction.

From these passions, I came to enjoy the subject Literature and Composition, which I have taken last year and this year. Last year, I took the Honors class, and I am taking Honors this year as well. Ninth grade Literature was easy because it was almost stress-free with easy to contemplate novels, and essays that were given to us with step-by-step instructions. This year, I can't really say the same.

We are only in October and have already finished one book while currently being in the middle of reading two at once. With my passions of reading and writing, this class would be easy for me, and after reading all the time, you would think that I remember everything that I read, right? Actually, no. You would expect that someone who reads all the time would have great reading comprehension, right? No, again. The other week we were assigned 100 pages of "Columbine" by Dave Cullen and 6 cantos of "The Inferno" by Dante Alighieri, translated by John Ciardi. Both works were really interesting to read.

We had a quiz after being assigned this reading. I read it all and managed my time well by dividing up all of the pages over a week period. I even read almost all 6 cantos twice! I thought I was ready for the quiz that was composed of 10 short answer questions, but unfortunately, I wasn't.

There is one thing that I remember a lot of my Language Arts teachers told me in elementary school and middle school: reading every day will help you remember what you read and will improve your reading comprehension. It makes sense that that would happen, but during this one specific quiz, constantly reading did not work out in my favor.

When the paper reached my desk and I got a good look at the questions, my heart stopped. I didn't remember anything. I left four questions blank, and I missed at least one question and one part of two other questions, leaving it only possible for me to get a total of three or four questions completely correct. This is when I finally came to terms with it. I have bad reading comprehension, despite the fact that I thought reading everyday would improve it.

I automatically thought that because of my passion for reading and the constant reading I did, those would make remembering what I read and reading comprehension easy for me. I can't assume that these will make a class easy, especially when neither of those things seemed to help me this time. Although this may not be the same for everyone who reads, this was my experience, so next time, I will try harder and do anything I can to remember what I read.

Maybe I need to reread things more than two times to really get myself to remember it. Or after I read works the first time, making practice questions for myself to answer a day or two after the initial may help. And that's OK. Being an voracious reader does not equate great comprehension. And that's OK. It's a new skill I'll have to learn, and maybe casual reading will be even more fun than it is now.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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What Your Hogwarts House Says About You

Get yourself sorted and find out where you belong in the world of witchcraft and wizardry.
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Sorting at Hogwarts is a big deal. Being sorted into a house is essentially being placed into a family while you are away from home learning about witchcraft and wizardry. Your house is made up of the people you will live with, go to classes with, play Quidditch with and everything in between. You basically spend 24/7 with them. Your Hogwarts house is your home away from home.

When you get sorted into a house, it is based on your personality traits. The people in your house are typically like-minded people who display the same characteristics as you.

When you’re a first year at Hogwarts, the minute you set foot in the castle you are swept into the Great Hall to have the ancient Sorting Hat placed on your head. This Sorting Hat decides which “family” you’ll be spending your seven years with.

For some, it is very obvious which house they will be in, due to certain personality traits they possess. For others, they may exemplify traits that fit a multitude of houses and are uncertain where they may end up.

To find out where you belong, you can take the official "Harry Potter" Sorting Hat quiz at Pottermore.com. For all you muggles out there, these are the characteristics that the houses possess and what your house says about you:

Gryffindor: The house of the brave, loyal, courageous, adventurous, daring and chivalrous. Those who stand up for others are typically Gryffindors. Brave-hearted is the most well-known Gryffindor characteristic, and Gryffindors are also known for having a lot of nerve.

Gryffindors are people who hold a multitude of qualities alongside the ones listed, making them a very well-rounded house. People who are Gryffindors are often people who could fit nicely into another house but choose to tell the sorting hat they want Gryffindor (there's that bravery). "Do what is right" is the motto Gryffindors go by.

Being a Gryffindor means that you're probably the adventurous and courageous friend, and you are usually known for doing what is right.

Ravenclaw: The house is known for their wisdom, intelligence, creativity, cleverness and knowledge. Those who value brains over brawn can be found here. Ravenclaws often tend to be quite quirky as well. "Do what is wise" is the motto they strive to follow.

Though Ravenclaws can be know-it-alls sometimes, they most likely do know what the wisest decision is.

If you are known for being the quirky friend, the smartest in the group or just great at making wise decisions, you're definitely a Ravenclaw.

Hufflepuff: This house values hard work, dedication, fair play, patience, and loyalty. Hufflepuff’s are known for being just and true. "Do what is nice" is their motto.

Hufflepuff is known as the “nice house” and believes strongly in sparing peoples feelings and being kind. This is not to say that Hufflepuffs aren't smart or courageous. Hufflepuffs just enjoy making others happy and tend to be more patient towards people.

If you ever find that you are too nice for your own good and cannot bear to hurt someone’s feelings, congratulations, you are a Hufflepuff.

Slytherin: This is the house of the cunning, prideful, resourceful, ambitious, intelligent, and determined. Slytherin's love to be in charge and crave leadership. "Do what is necessary" is the motto of this house.

Slytherin is a fairly well-rounded house, similar to the other houses. They are loyal to those that are loyal to them just as Gryffindors are and are intelligent as Ravenclaws.

Slytherin house as a whole is not evil, despite how many dark wizards come out of this house. That is merely based on the choices of those wizards (so if your friend is a Slytherin, don’t judge, it doesn’t mean they are mean people). Slytherins do, however, have a tendency to be arrogant or prideful. This is most likely due to the fact that everyone in Slytherin is exceedingly proud to be there.

What Hogwarts house you’re in says a lot about the person you are, the traits you possess and how you may act in some situations. But in the end, your house is really just your home that is always there for you. Always.


Cover Image Credit: Warner Bros Pictures

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How Art Can Help You Take Care Of Yourself

It's time to go on a date with yourself.

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Art is a quintessential part of the human experience: it has something that has been present in human culture beginning from prehistoric times, from when human consciousness first entered the world. It is also something that transcends definition and intertwines with our play of life and the meaning of humanity. Art is an expression of feeling in its most ethereal meaning and "for fun" at its most basic.

Personally, as an Art History minor, art has been a dimension of life for me that I have explored deeply and holds a lot of meaning. Painting is a huge outlet and way to deal with stress for me, and appreciating fine art teaches me about the aspect of history and how all of history is tied together throughout paintings, sculptures, and photographs. It helps me center myself and remind me of the place I hold in this world and the curious aspect personal experience of history. However, art doesn't need to be the stereotypical idea of art: it can be expressed through dance, the learning of a new language, or the coloring of mandalas to ease stress.

The exploration of art and the artistic side of human nature is something that everyone has in them: it's written in our psychology. We have an entire side of our brain that is inclined toward feeling and abstract interpretation, so it's natural to assume that emotion and expression of art are intrinsically intertwined. Thus, experiencing art is a way to personally develop yourself, and can be an unfound way of finding out things about yourself.

Different ways to explore your artistic side can be very easy: as easy as 3rd-grade coloring books, coloring mandalas, or finger-painting. Recently, I participated in a lantern festival and being able to paint a small lantern was an amazing outlet from a stress-filled week and allowed me to express myself through something besides just communication. Writing is also another good way to express emotion and create art: many books are just art pieces, and can be another way to further develop yourself. Additionally, other small fun things like carving pumpkins (spooky season!) or even curating the perfect Instagram profile can be another way to express yourself.

Appreciating the small things in your life as art and self-expression help put you more in touch with yourself, which is easy to lose throughout the mundane cycles of college, work, and life in general. Keeping yourself in harmony and balance might seem like an earthy-crunchy concept, but self-care and self-love are vital in keeping the rest of your life ordered. Being mindful of yourself and your goals is something that I have always have had difficulty with, but working toward learning more about yourself is taking the first step.

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