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Some interesting facts and opinions in this piece.
The moral: perhaps the prestige is not the be-all and end-all.
Sometimes the statements will be set in print, and sometimes you will need to listen. (One of the aspects of the new California testing that I find intriguing is that the student is given headphones with which to listen to a short piece, then answer questions.)
So, start practicing: set aside the time of the piece, and some time on which to reflect upon what is said.
Oh, about note-taking: the average speech is 100-250 wpm, while your handwriting is about 25 wpm.
You have a lot of practicing to do!
Before you read, a review:
Fact: a statement that can be verified.
Opinion: what someone thinks, believes, or wishes.
As a citizen, you have to be a sharp listener and a quick discerner of what is fact and what is opinion.
If it is opinion, is it well founded? Do you agree? How does it affect you?
Does an opinion bind you?
What conclusions do you draw from this?
Read challenging books.
Read newspapers, magazines, different genres, opposing opinions.
Read print and spare the backlight.
The writing has to be your own. A good editor is an ally, but the wordsmithing should be yours.
Further considerations of new tech and reading comprehension.
When I think about what to teach, to share, to say, I am guided by this thought: What do I wish someone would have told me when I was in that student seat?
I believe that exercise and fitness is interwoven with cognition.