Wednesday, November 29, 2006

How Reading Fast Like Superman Saved The Day

Ever find yourself with a test tomorrow and you haven't studied a single thing? Do you have to give a report on a company's profile that stacks from your desk to the ceiling? If you answered yes, then you know where I was yesterday. I believe the correct term is "screwed". If you guys didn't know this time of year is the wonderful time of finals for us students. All is fun and games until you find out you have a final in 2 hours, and the last time you've seen the required text is when you were too cheap to buy it because $150.00 can feed a family of 20 in Tanzania. Read on to see how my life was saved.

The story dates back to when this blog was created. I created this blog to document my choice to actively play the game of life. I made the choice to make myself as strong(lifewise) as I can possibly be to succeed at life. About this same time I also came to the conclusion that I need to be able to absorb information faster and more effectively to test it out and apply it. I remembered buying a book a couple of years ago by Evelyn Wood called The Evelyn Wood Seven-Day Speed Reading and Learning Program, which was an ok book(there are a lot better speed reading tutorial books out there). The problem I encountered with that book was that it was not written in a language that could be easily understood and applied.

I found myself in a dilemma. I needed to learn how to read fast but I didn't know what was real and what was fake out there. I did what I do for all my information, went to google and typed in "speed reading forum". Surprisingly I was unable to find a lot of quality information about speed reading. I did come across a ridiculous amount of products that claimed almost impossible things(I haven't been able to try the read a book in an hour products but I'm willing to give them a shot and post you guys a review, I will do a post and individually review all of these products in seperate posts). The good thing is that I came across a couple that really helped me. In a month I got my reading speed from 234 words per minute with 80% comprehension to 789 words per minute with 90% comprehension (now you know my secret on being able to post about anything and everything, I read everything there is available because I'm cool like that ; p).

Fast foward to yesterday. I am walking down the street ready to go to the gym when my phone alarm goes off (I have a treo so my microsoft outlook synchronizes the calendar with it). In bright big letters of death my phone screams to me final 7pm(like the over dramatization huh?). I almost have a major panic attack, but instead I pick up my phone and call my friend and he sends me 5 weeks worth of notes. The notes end up being 40 full pages. I look at the time, it is almost 5pm, I have 2 hours to study. I run to the Starbucks on campus where all the tables are full. I use my charm to coerce a girl into letting me share her little 3 foot in diameter table with me. I speed read all of the notes and do a little exercise called mind mapping which the speed reading courses teach to really pound the information into the memory.

7pm comes I crank out the test in under 30 minutes (we were given 1 hour and 40 minutes). Speed reading had saved the day again. I recommend speed reading to anyone and wish that they taught it in elementary school to kids. Look foward for some posts on the products that helped me the most, and the products that deserver to call the trash home.
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