kitchen table math, the sequel: reading on auto pilot

Thursday, August 9, 2012

reading on auto pilot

Teri leaves this account of 'nonconscious reading':
I have wondered a bit on this topic, particularly because I do a WHOLE LOT of reading aloud to the kids and it's always curious to me what my mind can get away with while I'm reading.

I was a bit spooked one day to realize that ... I could be thinking about something else completely and still be chugging along, and the kids didn't notice a thing. Now, I had no idea what I'd been reading, and I obviously couldn't read with much animation or emphasis or expression, but it was going in the eyes, through the brain and out the mouth without disrupting the any of the other thoughts I was having.

This actually is quite handy, though, because it allows me to read ahead while I am reading so I can edit "on the fly" fairly smoothly.
Basal ganglia strike again...


Independent George said...

The single most useful skill I've developed over the years (purely out of necessity) is the ability to pay attention and read completely boring, repetitive, and often poorly-written text. Once you enter the working world, you no longer have a choice on what you get to read - you have to read everything that comes across your desk. Skimming might be useful when you're short on time (which is always), but when you read on autopilot, you end up missing an awful lot of crucial information. This is doubly important if you're training someone on a product they've never seen before, and need to communicate something fundamental which is second-nature for yourself, but completely alien to a normal person.

Catherine Johnson said...

That comment's a keeper!