I love to read. I love books. There are few things that bring me such joy as getting lost in the “sea of words” where characters are of my creation and I grow attached to fictional places. I have even mourned the loss as I ended a book series. The book itself is wonderful, but I am slowly crossing into the technology world by reading some electronically. The point of it all is that I enjoy the depths of the written word, pondering over the meanings of things, or finding how what I have been reading works into the things I already understand.
Then I read an article by Nicholas Carr called Is Google Making Us Stupid? which discussed how technology is changing the way we read, process, and absorb information. He used the analogy about how he was once a scuba diver in a sea of words, but now is more like a person covering a lot of area skimming along quickly on a jet ski. That is something that resonated with me in a deep way.
Before I started working on my PhD, I asked those in the program how difficult the work was and how that work impacted their daily lives. Everyone seemed to be in accordance, that “it is a lot of work, but it is manageable”. This loosely translated to the work was at a doable level, but just LOTS of it you have to do in a short amount of time. So now that I am nearing the end of my first year, I find out that the work is training me to be a jet skier.
I say this because I constantly feel like I’m not reading the material deep enough and having enough time to really process and consider what I’m reading. Which makes me sad. As much as I adore reading and learning, it is not feasible to invest the amount of time I feel necessary to each subject. So, alas, I jet ski. I read for the information I need to, process at warp speed (I am a slow processer naturally), and churn out my work. In my heart, many times I do not feel I am producing my best work. But it is the best I have at the speed in which I must go and I have found some balance in it as well as acceptance.
Nevertheless, I am a scuba diver at heart. I am looking so very forward to being able to find the time to read for pleasure and at the slower pace and depth I wish. Perhaps many things I will read again with some free time, as I found I did following my master’s program. Until then, I will keep my scuba gear close by in case I have the extra time, where I will eagerly leap from the jet ski and dive deeper!