How are you this week? Today, I want to remind you of an important activity that can help you perform better on your exams, term papers, or other school-related assignments.
When I saw you last week, you looked a little rough. Without me asking, you told me that you only slept for three hours the night before. You read my previous letter, so I will not further explain the relationship between rest and academic performance.
I want to know about your reading habits. Do you still read? I mean, I know that you read the required texts and resources for class. I am more curious about your reading activities unrelated to schoolwork.
No, your social media feed does not count.
I want to encourage you to reconnect or connect with a practice of making consistent time to read. Yes, it’s important to read your textbook, journal articles, or other resources that can help you learn the material for class. I also want you to make reading books, articles, blogs or other resources that are unrelated to school a priority for your "free time."
While the type of reading, I am recommending you may not produce a direct increase in your score on the next exam, it can provide you with some benefits. It will take a minimum of 30 minutes every day. This discipline can strengthen the muscles in your brain responsible for turning on channels to accessing creativity and higher thinking.
The long-term advantages of making the time to exercise your brain through reading can produce successful long-term results. Consistent time reading can increase your ability to focus. It expands your vocabulary. Reading a variety of different literary works can help you to become a more well-rounded person and open your mind to future professional endeavors.
This past month I read four books. I read two books by fiction author Shari Lapena. In memory to my family’s time in Mazatlán, I read Margarita Wednesdays by Deborah Rodriguez who is a friend and currently lives near my old home in Mexico. I also read Michael Eric Dyson’s latest book, What Truth Sounds Like: RFK, James Baldwin, and our Unfinished Conversation about Race in America.
Each one of these books are valuable additions to my library. The fictional titles have inspired me to begin writing a novel. Margarita Wednesdays helped me reconnect to my former community in Mexico. Dyson’s book pushed me to get bolder as I make daily progress in my interpretations of social justice and leadership.
The benefits that I reap from reading can serve you also in your responsibilities as a student. Instead of spending your "free time" allowing the television or computer to think for you, pick up a book and develop the ability to become a more critical thinker. Critical thinking is essential to understanding how to read and apply the concepts taught in class. Any activity that strengthens the skill of thinking clear can lead to better performances on your school assignments.
This week, I want you to pick up one of the four inexpensive titles pictured in this blog entry.
After you've read the first ten pages of one of these titles, leave me a comment letting me know what you think of the book.