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“Loving to read as a strategist”. Episode 13. Why to read?

Wishing you a beautiful last Tuesday of October 2022.

“A l´ombre des Magueys”.
This big size watercolor is currently being exhibited in APACULSA exhibition , Santa Ana, El Salvador. Size: 56 cm x 70 cm
Paper Sennelier Cold Press 300GSM, Painted with Daniel Smith & Holbein pigments.
100% original by Eleonora Escalante
. If you wish to buy it, let me know, please. I only sell 100% originals.

Why to read?
Regardless of the thousands of academic authors who have written about this topic, today, I will be writing from my own. Apart from the first section about the PIAAC, which I pulled from the OECD website, for your records last week, the bibliography is peripheral and listed accordingly below.  I will pour myself with my own thoughts and reflections.

What is PIAAC?
The PIAAC is the acronym of the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). It was designed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) specifically for developed nations. The PIAAC is an international study for measuring, analyzing, and comparing adults’ basic skills of literacy, numeracy, and digital computer skills. This assessment has been designed with the mandate to understand the gap between the workplace talent requirements (wants and needs) and the workforce talent supply (what people can offer) with their mindset’s education. The factors, measured in the PIACC are related to “basic cognitive and workplace skills much needed for individuals to participate in society and for economies to prosper” (1).

The PIAAC also serves the education system in the richest and most developed economies on earth. It is meant to help developed economies understand their education and training systems and how these basic skills (or competencies) are allocated across the adult working-age population.

The PIAAC runs every 10 years. The first report (2) was introduced in 2011 and according to our research, the same survey instruments were administered twice more through 2017. In total, 39 countries participated in PIAAC in Cycle I (2011-17). Cycle II of PIAAC, with revised survey instruments, has just commenced this year, in 2022, with 32 countries. We have focused our understanding of the PIAAC on the level of literacy, only.

The PIAAC only shows what we all know at the moment: only 3 of 10 people on earth are able to read with proficiency at literacy level 3 (reached in 8th grade). The rest of the readers is below that. Additionally, less than 1% of the readers in developed economies have attained literacy level 5.

Don´t forget this, please.

Why to read. To reach high literacy.
It is so beautiful to understand what we read. Now I am reading the book “The Enlightenment and the Intellectual Foundations of Modern Culture” by Louis Dupré, a book of more than 400 pages (3). This is one of the most complicated books I have ever read in my whole life. Anyone that has already read it, or wishes to know about this topic, will not only agree with me but will remark with empathy, that reading Dupré is to read maybe above Literacy 5 level.  When I read difficult long narratives, every time I comprehend each page (once I can relate to what I am looking for as an explorer of knowledge) I feel enormously fortunate. It is an inner pleasant satisfaction that I can´t express only in words. It is fireworks!. I feel intellectually fulfilled, and honored by the author as if I am graduated and assured by his expertise and skills. Reaching Literacy 5 must be the goal for everyone who attends schools and universities and as a lifetime experience. Not to devour the longest number of pages, but to be cognizant of the whole dimensions of what the author is trying to convey. By advancing our literature to the wisest authors who write dense creations, only then we can elevate our literacy. But it is not automatic. It takes years and years of going a little step at a time. It is a step-by-step process. By the way, I invite you to read Dupre´s book and find out what I am talking about by your own discernment. Only then you will feel compassionate about why I have pushed the three bonus materials for next year.

Why to read. To become an instrument of change and a transformational path.
It is well said, “Those who read are able to change the world”. Well, nowadays, it is not only about reading, but about learning when we read. Only when we can cognize different authors and criteria, and dig deeper inside us to contemplate and reflect on them, only then we can begin to find out what may happen next in our quest to see everything with 360 degrees view. Every time I read a new book; I feel like a new pupil of the author. The authors take me to work with my imagination, in a route or roadmap to understand them. Of course, I probably dedicate more time to academic reading than other types of literature genres, but I reassure you that by reading from different views, different cultures, different genres of topics, and different eras (books are written in different centuries, that is why oldies matter much more nowadays than before), we just simply begin to understand. Knowledge is revealed to those who search for it, but wisdom only comes when we begin to connect the dots in our search for finding solutions, and by doing it we become instruments of change. Without wanting, not by duty, but naturally. By instructing ourselves, we don´t need to exercise violence or plan to take the streets in multitudes, and/or lapidating street stores with terror or with weapons. When higher levels of literacy permeate us, violence is destroyed forever. We at least begin to open up for roads for a further transformational path that will take centuries to happen, but we comprehend that we will put our “grain of sand”, from where we are, using peaceful methods for helping others to understand aussi.

Why to read. To learn to reflect and discern.
Only by reading, can we learn how to reflect. How to discern is one of the most difficult things that humans will encounter to learn in the middle of the behemoth of a digital media economy. Those who have bet for this digital latter manner of prosperity will bear the consequences of not reflecting or discerning in advance when the time was still opportune for pausing and reviewing everything as it started before Y2K, or even before the enlightenment centuries. Only when we read from diverse and unique perspectives, when we decide to pause, no matter what “others may say to punish you or disqualify you”, only by taking time to detoxicate from the “noise of trends and fashions”, and we are humble enough to forgive ourselves for not being able to stop before; then and only then, by reading we are able to perceive with the eyes of the wisest. The most educated are many times forgotten and hidden under the “unknown branding”. In the digital media economy, the most well-bred and cultivated are not only dismissed, but attacked, and pushed aside. However, these sagacious authors have left their books. And are writing. Only by reading them, and reading, and reading for several years of their trajectories, we begin to understand. And by taking distance, by staying out of the noise, only then we can get underway to simply start to recognize all the edges that were not considered initially. These edges are transformed, because of reflection, in core arguments that may or may not turn the tides of history later on.

Why to read. To enjoy literature.
Literature can also be entertaining. There are novels that are written with witty and lovely refreshing words, these are so captivating, no one wants to miss the plots. It is a cause of bliss to imagine what the words are trying to tell you. That is why when we read the books first, and then we watch the movie, there is a sense of disenchantment, sometimes disillusion because our resourcefulness and ingenuity in conciliating the words in our minds are greatest than the one adapted for the film. In my personal case, I adore romance and historic novels (fiction or not). I also enjoy the beauty of the detective suspense explorers. I do not like horror or anything that scares me and doesn´t let me sleep.   Additionally, we need to overcome the fear of reading. Fear of not being able to read as others expect us to do it. Some readings will be easier. Others will require a slow pace and taking notes. And it is very personal. I am against telling you what the number of words per minute is the optimum because each human being has his or her own pace for reading, and it is much better to read slowly but with perfection to understand the author, than to simply pass pages as a superficial skim reading and not understanding anything. A well-understood book triggers happiness, no matter the words per minute that took you to read it.

Learning to read is to learn to writeIllustrative and non-commercial image.Please this article.

Why to read. To enlarge our brain power life.
I have reposted slide number 6. According to a recent academic paper, accepted and published by the National Library of Medicine (4), and after 14 years of studies: “Reading is protective of cognitive function in later life. Frequent reading activities are associated with a reduced risk of cognitive decline for older adults at all levels of education in the long term”. We already know that the process of cognitive decline could be slowed by involvement in regular physical activity, avoiding smoking, adopting dietary patterns and nutrient intake, and/or more engagement in social life and leisure activity. Well, reading skillfully and constantly is directly associated with our mental health. So, what we mean to read is long texts. We are not talking about short stories or little essays or publications of less than 3,000 words (as this one). We are ushered to read books above 100,000 words (5). On average, “novels are around 90,000 words long. One book page generally contains 250-300 words, so a 90,000-word book represents a book of 320 pages” (6).

Why to read. To broaden our intellect competencies.
Finally, there is nothing more respected than integrity with ourselves. By reading we can understand what we perceive with our five senses. What we see or perceive by watching can only be esteemed when we know why that happens. What we touch, can only be revered when we comprehend from where is coming from. What we eat, can only be admired, when we understand the reality behind those who prepare it, and the sources of supplies of our nutritive aliments.  What we sense and hear, can only be graciously understood when we are able to recognize and discern from where they come. Understanding reading is a noble act. Nobility and distinction come from several layers. The foundation of those layers is your reading. Tell me what you read and I will tell you who you are. This is our next topic of the week.

Announcement: Next Friday we will explore the subject “We are what we read”. Thank you.

Learning to read is to learn to writeIllustrative and non-commercial image.

Strategic Music Section.

Music Reading chill-outs

A good reader is usually blessed with a good reading instructor or educator. The action of reading well starts with the teachers: It is an active process of “constructive meaning”, “creative thinking”, “curiosity”, “investigation mindset”, “monitoring by test-error”, “explorative joy” and “critical reasoning”.  Today we will discuss the “explorative joy” quality.  A reading teacher can´t be a grumpy planter of knowledge. Reading teachers need to overflow with delight when they teach what and how to read to their pupils. Particularly in early childhood and primary school years. Some years ago, I said to my students that exploring is like peeling an onion or an artichoke. Layer by layer we discover new ideas and issues to solve. And we find surprises.

To have joy while reading has to be lived. We come across new elements of learning through reading. If we explore with joy what we read, we will be able to transmit and transfer that joy. And we will be able to explain that. The sense of wonder and happiness in reading has to be lived by reading teachers, to a point in which kids want to become them, following the teacher’s examples. How often do we ask children, what they want to be when they grow up? Do they answer a reading teacher? I doubt it. So, the charm and delight of reading must come from reading professors as the best role models of entertainment at earlier ages. Rejoice!

Our music for reading today is another compilation from Halidon Music. It is classical music that I tested over the weekend when I was painting 4 watercolors for a coming exhibition. The pieces of the Bach-Vivaldi symphonies are interpreted by: Metamorphose String Orchestra, directed by Pavel Lyubomudrov; Luke Faulkner; Massimiliano Martinelli; Mr. & Mrs. Cello; Orchestra da Camera Fiorentina, directed by Giuseppe Lanzetta; I Virtuosi del Teatro a la Scala, Marco Zone. For more details read the text information attached to the video.

See you next Friday 28th of  October, with the fourteenth episode of the saga “Loving to read as a strategist: We are what we read”. Thank you for reading to me. Blessings.

“Loving to Read as a Strategist”. Illustrative and non-commercial image. Giphy source from Nazaret Escobedo

Sources of reference are utilized today.


Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, most of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.

Episode 13th total amount of words: 2,334.
Reading time: 12 minutes

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