During my first semester at Penn State York I realized that I could no longer just scan
through my required reading. In high school, I would quickly read over the texts and not
really pay attention to what the author’s true message was. I am an auditory learner, so I
always relied on the teacher’s lesson rather than reading over the section myself.
Another one of my struggles with reading was that I would always get so nervous when I
was asked to read in front of a group of people. Even out of school I was never interested
in books. I could never find a book that interested me. Reading was not something that
came naturally to me and I felt like I was the only one that felt this way. Now I know that
I am not the only one that can’t stay focused and I’m not the only one that can’t
comprehend what I’m reading.
FLIRT, DRIVE and RELAX have given me so many new techniques. I now know
reading is not impossible. Before I read I look at the text features: titles, headings,
captions, special fonts, photographs, key words, maps and illustrations. These text
features help me become clearer on the author’s message. I also learned how different
genres require different types of reading. With nonfiction, a text based on fact, I need to
read slow and stop to learn unknown vocabulary. I can also skip pages that don’t contain
relevant information. When reading fiction, texts not based on fact, I could read fast and
skip words yet I need to read all of the pages in order. I also learned how to read
biographies. I need to read slow and stop to learn unknown vocabulary. Knowing the
genre was another key step for me to understand my college readings.
While I read, I like to highlight the important parts of the passage. This technique helps
me stay focused and it also helps me with organizing my notes. I also like to use two or
more colored highlighters. This lets me put my notes into more specific categories. For
example if I were to come across a vocabulary term that I’m not familiar with I would
highlight it with a green highlighter. When I came to the information that I thought was
important and information that had to do with the author’s message, I would highlight it
with a yellow highlighter. This type of organization helped me stay focused and help me
stay grounded with the text. After I finished reading the passage I like to show my
creative side by making an illustration or graffiti. This helps put a picture with the new
information and made it easier for me to study for an exam. I also like to link the new
information with the old information by answering any questions that I had while I was
FLIRTing with the text. All of these strategies were creative and fun ways to help me
remember the text that I had just read.
One of the ways that I like to clear my confusion is to use talking to the text. When I talk
to the text it allows me to keep my mind on the text and prevents my mine from
wondering. I don’t keep my talking to the text limited to just what I’m reading. If I
were to see a sentence or even a word that would remind me, for example of what I did
last weekend, I would write it on the paper. Doing this helped me get that thought out of
my mind so that I could continue to focus on the passage. I use pens, pencils and
highlighters when I talk to the text.
Some bad habits I have cut out are being late for classes and not staying focused. When I
am late to my classes I know that I have missed the professor’s introduction to that
day’s class. I feel lost and sometimes I never get the chance to catch up to the rest of the
class. My other struggle is my lack of being able to focus. I need to keep my goals in
mind and keep my mind on track. My strengths include putting my best effort into
everything I do. I don’t like to hand in sloppy work or not succeed. One of the people I look up to for their abilities to fail and still succeed is Michael Jordan. He keeps his
number one goal in mind and nothing could come in his way of him achieving that goal.