Feedback Focus

Maintaining focus while reading is often difficult for some people. In a world full of distractions, and a world where necessary reading is often less-than-enthralling, it is easy for us to glaze over an article or a chapter in a book without having retained anything. What a waste of time that is! Luckily, there are strategies to help maintain an appropriate level of focus while reading something. In this post, I am ranking some given strategies in order of usefulness, to me at least, and highlighting a few thoughts I have on each.


This strategy was most helpful to me, and I definitely think it would be a good thing to implement while reading assigned readings for classes. Not only does it break up your reading into less daunting sections, but it forces you to maintain an active level of focus by having you jot down a note about the given section. Additionally, at the end of the reading, you are able to look back and reflect upon your thoughts during the reading process.

Use a timer

I also found this strategy helpful, although I think it has more specific usefulness than that of the copy-and-delete method. Using a timer, again, forces you to focus on one topic for a short period of time, which is great for breaking up the reading. I also like the idea of choosing what to do at the end of the time. Unfortunately, I find myself setting time constraints and becoming distracted within those time constraints. I think the key to this idea is using small enough increments of time that you do not find yourself day-dreaming or checking Facebook. Ten minutes is a great period of time to use, for certain.

Read out loud

As much as I believe reading out loud has its benefits, and as much as I understand the science and psychology behind it, this technique has never worked for me, and I doubt it ever will. I do think it is good to read out loud in order to uncover devices used by the author that one might have missed reading in their head (example: alliteration, assonance, etc.); however, for me personally, it is difficult to stay focused as I hear my own voice, and also not to get caught up on the theatrics of what I am reading (I blame drama!).

Overall, I found these techniques to be very beneficial to consider, and would like to try implementing them in some of my daily work, be it homework or otherwise.





Reading Notes: Ramayana Part B-D

***Reading notes derived from of the plot summaries for parts B-D of the Ramayana.

I find Rama’s exile to be interesting, and somewhat cliche, however there are very intriguing details of the episodes. I was compelled by the story of the golden deer used by Maricha as a disguise to draw in Sita. I would have liked to see the deer itself distract Sita, or perhaps bewitch her, rather than Sita having had Rama set out to capture it. I do like, however, how the capturing and killing of the deer breaks the cliche. I also would like to think that Ravana does not seek to capture Sita because he fell in love with her, but rather as revenge for the mutilation of his sister. In truth, if I were writing the story, Shurpanakha would not have been so violently mutilated by Lakshmana, but would have been a great and fearsome opponent to behold.

The one aspect of these epics that I find displeasing is the position of female characters; I found Rama’s test for Sita, for example, to be irritating. Jumping into a fire to prove one’s virtue for a man is not exactly my cup of tea. I do understand the sacred and cultural philosphies behind the Ramayana and the culture that surrounds it, and that is part of the reason I find this class so interesting. I desire to read further Indian stories and discover some truly strong female protagonists or characters. Sita is a very strong character, in my opinion, however I do not think that the story has been set up to display her courage. I would love to read or write a narrative from Sita’s point of view. She quite cleary acts out of her love for Rama and her desire for good. While she is in Ravana’s captivity, I believe that Sita would show courage, finding comfort and strength in the knowledge that Rama would come for her, rather than being consumed by her grief and pushed to a suicidal state.

I also found the monkeys to be very interesting. (How sad that I was reminded of the Wizard of Oz!) I would like to read more into the monkey civilizations, and more heroes like Hanuman.

Sita and Hanuman. 



Ramayana Parts A-B

Ramayana Parts C-D