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An Anthropologist On Mars Essay

1351 words - 6 pages

An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks is definitely unlike any book I have ever read before. The books that interest me are usually fiction/fantasy or romantic. I like to think of myself as quite skilled in the subject of English and Literature, so I figured I could just grin and bear it and get through this reading easily using my same old strategies. I immediately found out that this was not going to be the case. Sacks is clearly a well-educated and experienced man, and it shows in his writing. A lot of the vocabulary utilized stumped me to the point where it made grasping the gist of the reading difficult. Although I have to admit once I got past the boring introduction of Temple ...view middle of the document...

Although this reading proved to be worth reading, I had some issues with it initially, due to how complex the reading was. Vocabulary words and medical terminology used seemed to be my main problems. Our first assignment in class was to read the first 11 pages in the Anthropologist on Mars chapter. Immediately I felt overwhelmed because you had already told us this book was not very exciting, so in my mind that was 11 pages of pure boredom that I had to read in one night. As soon I got home I procrastinated doing everything else I could think of besides my reading. When I finally did start which was around 7 o’clock, I tried to get myself in that student mode, ready to read and comprehend. The introduction and background of autism was probably the hardest part, I had to re-read the first two pages because I found myself skimming or trying to read fast, and reading without really understanding what I was reading. Even though the reading changed its tone once I got half way through, I still found myself struggling to keep my eyes open and I had to stop to take a break. I decided to rest my eyes for half an hour, which turned into forty-five minutes. But as I hoped I was able to finish the rest of the reading. I was so proud of myself and thought “these everyday quizzes are going to be a breeze, I got this”. But the next day when that quiz rolled around, the very first question had me panicking because not only could I not remember the answer, but I had no recollection of even reading it. As the quiz went on the confidence I had in myself and my reading skills quickly diminished. You can imagine the relief I felt when the class voted not to have this first quiz count. Right then and there I knew I had to change my strategies.
That night as soon as I got home I ate, and took a nap so that I could be refreshed and energized and began my reading, I even had a highlighter in hand. I had never used my highlighters since before this class, but I knew I was going to need them now, I knew I had to take these reading assignments a lot more seriously. I highlighted everything that seemed “treelike” meaning anything that seemed important in understanding autism and Temple in general. “I had to learn to be suspicious; I had to learn it cognitively. I could put two and two together, but I couldn’t see the jealous look on his face”(260) I also highlighted vocabulary words that I did not know such as “dissembling” and “pretense”. Normally I would just use context clues to try to grasp the concept of a word I didn’t know and try to continue the reading. I felt like not knowing the definition of a word was wasted reading time. ...

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