A few posts back, I mentioned a site I came across a month or two ago called Spreed! Using the site helped me to read faster when I use the site itself, but reading anything else was still my normal rate of around 300 words per minute.
Based on some other things I read recently, the site works because it cuts down on the time needed for your eyes to move and focus on new words. That is, the effect is really just temporary. I decided I’d find a different way to improve.
Reading reviews of different products and books, I found a book titled “Breakthrough Rapid Reading.” I threw down about $15 to get it from Amazon. The book is a course meant to be done in about 4 – 6 weeks.
The book starts with a test to get an estimation of your reading speed. I was around 250 wpm After a few days, I’m past 400 wpm. It seems that at the moment, the book is focusing first on increasing my speed, while later chapters will have me focus on improving my comprehension.
How fast I will get after the recommended 6-week time, I do not know. But I will say I’m enjoying it so far.
Online, I see many people I know complain about the immigration offices (入国管理局) in Japan. Not immigration in the airport, but the offices residents go to for visa changes and renewal. Most of the time it’s people complaining about immigration in Tokyo.
Long lines, unhelpfulness, etc., were among the complaints I saw. Every time I’ve had to go since 2012 has been at the Kanagawa office. Dunno if I was always lucky, or if it’s just the office, but wait times typically have been between 5 minutes to 45 minutes. Then again, I’ve gone from 9 a.m. (opening time) to 10:45 a.m.
But recently, I learned to understand people’s frustrations. Why? Follow my tale of woe below.
When I came to Japan on Sept. 26, 2012, I had a student visa, or 留学 visa. It was set to expire on Dec. 26, 2013 (1 year and 3 months). Around Dec. 20 I received a job offer. I immediately began the visa change process. Continue reading Immigration deserves its reputation→
You may or may not know that in college my major was journalism. Before that, I was incredibly shy and had a tough time talking to people I had never met before. Well, when you’re a journalist and interviewing people, you have to talk. And I learned how to, with everyday people to international celebrities, both American (Hoobastank, Bruce Campbell, and more) and Japanese (Koda Kumi).
I’m still a shy person, but I can “turn on” that mode and talk to people. Unless it’s a big group. But I’m glad I learned how to.
Sunday, I met up with someone I’ve only interacted with before via Twitter and Facebook–Junko! In a fun twist, she wanted to interview me! A video of it will be posted at some point on her company’s YouTube channel in the future. I’ll make sure to post a link to it on here when it happens. ^^ Also, someone she had talked to for the first time ever that morning, Grace.
Anyway, learning to overcome fears is a great thing that more people try to do. It’s allowed me to meetsomeawesome people, some I now consider to be friends. =)
I’ve heard of speed reading and things like that, but I’ve never really given it thought before. I just assumed it’d be tricks like skipping over simple words, like prepositions. But in fact, there’s more to it, as I’ve recently learned.
The premise, and what kind of opened my eyes to speed reading, is that most people, myself included, tend to read only as fast as you can say the words. That is, when you read, you often have a voice in your head. If you can silence the voice, you can read faster. So, the site will parse the text you pasted, and show you one word at a time on the screen, in rapid succession. It starts you off with 300 wpm, but you can adjust it up or down in 25 wpm intervals. Mine is set to show me two words at a time at 950 wpm.
It’s an interesting concept, and I will say that when I use Spreeder I read much faster. 7 Speed Reading claims there are many more methods, and it’s something I may invest in later this year. After I’ve received a few more paychecks.