Thursday, December 15, 2011

Missed Opportunities

Doug Buehl came to campus the other night as a guest of the UW-SP Social Studies Club. Despite a somewhat mild December evening, the room was filled with lots of empty chairs, and I feel my fellow uuniversity students missed a wonderful opportunity to gain thoughtful insight from one of the nation's best-qualified literacy instructors. His 90-minute presentation was filled with fresh perspectives on ways that we read and comprehend information, be it within the subject of history, music, science, math and other disciplines. His opening salvo about reading the inner sleeve of his classical music CD was as realistic as it gets and I instantly identified with what he was saying. And while this event was sponsored by the Social Studies Club within the School of Education, I questioned whether students from the other disciplines saw this as a "reading affair" rather than one of THE BEST learning events of the school year. After all, the topic of reading only deals with those who are English Majors, right? I doubt whether future doctors and lawyers need to know how to read. Scientists and engineers will never recognize an instruction manual, much less write one. And musicians and artists rarely comprehend text in their professions. As I noted, there was a huge missed opportunity by students from within the entire campus of UW-SP last week. Next time I hope people recognize this for what it really was...a vast goldmine of unquestionable knowledge and wealth!

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