There exist aspects of life that are truly astounding, as anyone can attest to. However, what must be subsequently fathomed is that, along with the blatantly significant facets of our life, there are waves of infinity in each blink of the eye, in every rejuvenating release of the clouds and the accompanying scent of petrichor, in a moment’s passing, in the essence of any singular thought. This column aims to peer into experiences that many have daily—only in such a manner that is likely unfathomed—to promote a more substantial appreciation of such things.
- Beckett Wilkinson, Column Author
The words appear to trip on their own complexity. The pages are ingrained in the mere surfaces of their traffic—annotations from an entranced hand, not quite existing in this realm. How close might we come to the essence of the written word? When writers speak to us via this most eloquent mode, how should we respond? If not through our own methods, then I am inclined to say, not at all. For, it matters not an intention, absent a recipient who understands. We read, and we chew on the words we see—rather, the words we feel. From the humanities to hard sciences or other STEM fields, reading is mandatory for those who thrive as they learn. Sincere and curious readers even reach the point of reading about reading- as well as about a great many alternative topics, several of which are integral to contentment and accomplishment.
In fiction, the best kinds of sentences are the ones we forget we are reading—time no longer lingers in our minds, nor do obligations or assignments. We can think these words with our eyes firmly shut. We ignore punctuation, we ignore the manner by which the English language has opted to spell certain words, and one fails to consider whether they are a student or a master of this new state of existence, which are the same thing, so when the dangling branches cast the shadows of their dying leaves onto the book in hand, we peer directly through the inconvenience of worldly lighting into the meaning of a sentence the length of a paragraph, until we realize that it has, in fact, made no sense whatsoever, even if we believe it has. More academic writing is not the same. Science is often blunt and factual, informative and practical. We read, in this case, because we are being told what to learn—it is what it is, with supposedly no deeper perspective. I propose the notion that nothing is truly so shallow. On the contrary, one additional literary run-on sentence and the mind may begin to plead to be ordered around, instead of being gently guided by the tip of an old and dead pen, such that this antagonizing ambiguity is just that.
Depending on what location means in the sense of reading, it most likely matters. For instance, although one can imagine ingesting written information on the steps of the Rotunda, this alone does not designate what a location entails. The space a reader enters when they are classified as such is one that extends beyond anything tangible, besides the page, of course, yet this serves simply as a vessel. The ethereal enchantment of UVA is suspended in the air as students and faculty alike traverse by foot jovially, and the squirrels at their feet do not run in fear for they have grown trusting of this most trustworthy institution. In any case, it takes but a page or two to be invested heavily into the cerebral sphere of whatever area of study the work may consist of, which is conceivably the candid location of a reader.
As exams come and go, the study of astute content perhaps upsurges in frequency— as so too does the voyage into this formerly unknown realm. We review for when our knowledge is tested, and even our own words become a space in our heads, spanning from a vast array of conceptuality to the real moment of intaking and processing information, so as to conjure our own way of conveying ideas presented in lectures. Nothing compares to applying precisely the same process to questions on an exam and realizing that what follows has a universe of its own permanently in the mind of a conscientious reader who pays due attention to the stupendously detailed underlayer of reading. A performative passion that is not done for its own sake, but that of a much more substantive end. There is no coincidence pertaining to adequate preparation and its subsequent upshot.
We learn not exclusively what we need to recognize in order to be successful in our own respects, but also how to navigate an ever-changing society and globe. While news is often garnished visually and auditorily, its basis prospectively originates from the once-written accounts of events, then fashioned into something presentable to an expansive audience through (mostly) online avenues. The magnitude of staying informed in any regard cannot be overstated, and thus, all who have made it this far are commended exponentially, ideally continuing on and gathering a surplus of knowledge that may quite well serve them later on.