Last night I read the University of Alberta’s Comprehensive Institutional Plan. Okay, I did not read all 217 pages of the PDF. I skimmed. I scanned. I was really interested in what was being said about teaching and learning, so I found those parts and had a closer look.

But in our 140-character world, are we getting a little carried away? I was recently advised that I should reduce a three-word phrase to two words. Really? Have I lost you after four syllables?

I can appreciate that we are inundated with information and much of what comes in front of our eyes is only worthy of a cursory reading. (BTW, did you know that “peruse” actually means to examine or consider with attention and in detail; to scrutinize? If you were only glancing, you might see another definition “to look over or through in a casual or cursory manner.”  How confusing is that? Next will “sprint” and “meander” mean the same thing?)

Perhaps this is another call back to In Praise of Slow. Although there is material that only warrants a quick read, isn’t the third sentence of an important e-mail worth the time?

Before I get too close to the limits of a 250 word attention span, let me just suggest that we be more aware and intentional about how we read. Were you part of the 16%? Enjoy a good book. Be psyched for Monday.

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