I remember doing research and reports in high school. My parents had a good set of encyclopedias in which I would spend hours buried. I had Post-Its marking my chosen places in this stack of books and I flipped back and forth trying to remember what it was I was trying to convey. Since then, the delivery methods of information, means of execution when completing a paper and even the definition of what reference information is substantial, have all evolved into a system whose complication rivals Chinese algebra; ironically, it is not as difficult to navigate.
As a product of the ‘80s, I am fortunate to have experienced newspapers, pencil and paper, books, the postal system, and other traditional mediums of information, at their peak. I do appreciate the simplicity of a good newspaper, magazine, book, etc. They do not require electricity, computer, smart phone, or knowledge of information technology to use. However, I also enjoy having the option to get the newest information online if I so choose. I find myself reading more now than I did when I attended Missouri’s illustrious public school system. However, I cannot give the credit to technology; I simply was not interested. I wanted to focus my time on the same things every other red-blooded, teenage male did. I used the excuse, “I learn better by doing.” While kinesthetic learning provides certain advantages over other types, reading is able to deliver information in a much more descriptive manner.
Reading has always been a tedious task for me; I could never focus on the material. Reading the material at least three times was a minimum to get anything out of it. I have found the key is to be remotely interested in the material. When I joined the military in 2001, I had to start reading all the Air Force Instructions (AFI) to learn how I was supposed to conduct myself on a daily basis. There are literally thousands upon thousands of AFIs published, and many, but not all, of them applied to me. I was able...
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