Friday, February 6, 2009

Experiences vs. Perspective

The question has been posed that asks if being a modern student affects what I read, or my level of enjoyment of books selected to be read.

For me personally, I believe that being a modern student is simply one more layer that in a way enhances certain materials but does not necessarily alter overall my overall perspective in terms of what I am asked to read.

Part of this is most likely due to the fact that I do not fit the traditional student mold. I am 20 years past my high school graduation, I am a mother, I have been a wife, I have been- and am currently- active in my community, and I am much more secure in myself and my faith than I have been at other past points of my life.

Based on these things, I simply relegate the role of student to it's appropriate place on the list of what makes me who I am- and leave it there. It is not the sum of all of my parts, it is just another part.

Now, to the other part of the question, I do believe that it is our perspective- based on past experiences, tastes in reading and personal values- which help to determine whether or not a work is enjoyable. Do I feel the need to dissect each individual work into what the author means, or if there is a hidden meaning in each word, most definitely not. Of course my perspective, and in turn experiences, are what will determine if the work has any meaning for me personally, but being a student is a fractional consideration.

I read for information and enjoyment. Of course, being a student means that I am often required to read materials that do not appeal to me in the least. At these times, I simply choose to read the material, gather what I need and move on. In my experience, if a book, poem, etc., does not make a connection with me, I do not retain it.

Of course there is the philosophy that one should never waste their time in reading things that which do not appeal to them- and I admit, I subscribe to this belief as well. We should never squander our time, since it is an irreplaceable commodity.

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