Monday, April 12, 2021

Steady decline of literary reading

“Reading is fundamental.”“Reading is fundamental.” I’m sure we’ve all heard that saying at least once or twice throughout our lives. I myself have heard this statement over 50 times throughout my educational career. Although I do not want to agree with the statement, I have to.There have been times where I have needed help or an answer to a question, and the answer would be right in the directions or some place that I didn’t think about reading. Truth is, people aren’t reading anymore. “In 2015, 43 percent of adults read at least one work of literature in the previous year.

That’s the lowest percentage in any year since NEA surveys began tracking reading and arts participation in 1982, when the literature reading rate was 57 percent,”, according to the Washington Post. On my first day of high school, my mom dropped me off super early. I was one of the first kids to arrive. After getting let go inside the building, I was given a paper telling me where to go according to last names. My last name starts with a C, so I headed to the auditorium because that’s where students with last names from A-C were supposed to go.As I was sitting there and time went by, more people started to arrive. It was 8:30 a.m., and the school was handing out class schedules and student metro cards for the subway. Everyone got his or her schedule and metro card except for me. I was sitting there confused as to why I was the odd ball, so I went up to the distributor and asked if there were any more schedules that she was going to hand out.

She said no and went on to ask me if I was a freshman. I agreed and soon everything became clear. I was in the right place for people that had a last name that started with A-C who weren’t freshmen.If I would’ve read a little further on the paper, I would’ve noticed that under the list of rooms where all non-freshmen are supposed to go, it read: “All freshmen please report to the gymnasium.” The embarrassment that showed on my face when the distributor pointed to the printed statement was evident. Showing up to the gym after everyone had received their tools for the school year was embarrassing as well.Being a grammar guru for one PSUC journalism courses is a task that often makes me question if students actually read the material that is provided to them.

As a grammar guru, one of my duties is to check the student’s homework and answer any questions they may have had with it.When students arrive to their guru session with their homework incomplete claiming they did not know what to do or how to do, it often flabbergasts me. Most of the homework has clear directions right at the top before students can even get to the questions. Students will ask me questions like what is a gerund and the previous day they were given a handout on verbals, what gerunds are and how to identify them.

Students are confused because they simply are not reading. I will confess to being someone who does not read enough. Even to this day, there are times where I get frustrated because I can’t figure something out and the answer is right in front of me. Therefore, reading is fundamental.

Email Tamiyha Carter at opinions@cardinalpointsonline.com

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