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Photo credit: Everyday Health Photo of Hernandez (dressed in all black) at The Watcha! Film Series in honor of Women’s History Month.
By Alexa Saavedra

SAN ANTONIO—Will the professor even use the textbook? Can I pass the class without it? A new semester means new textbook request from our professors. We dabble on the idea if we should or should not spend the money on the textbook listed on our course syllabus. I’m sure we’ve all had those professors who dismiss the class for the sole purpose of students not doing their readings or the miraculous pop quizzes given in the beginning of class.

As students we are expected to spend multiple hours outside the classroom covering course material. For the most part, this can include reviewing chapter PowerPoints or reading over the class textbook. Steven Wise, associate professor and research instruction librarian at Our Lady of the Lake explains how, “circulation numbers for books in monographs have gone down and more students are reading articles.”

Reading not only activates the brain but also increases brain-power. Why is it that students are reading less? Overall, students find an easier access to information online. Wise said that, “There’s more online materials that are available for students to access becoming more likely to access Google or their friends first rather than look at book.” The attachment this generation has to their cellphones and web-use creates the ability to reach a source is a shorter amount of time; “Technology has created more instant and condensed information,” Wise said. With distractions, maintaining a social life and Valentine’s Day around the corner, skipping the textbook reading assignment for this week might be replaced by the consumption of candy hearts, chocolate covered strawberries, and dinner dates with your significant other.

Wise suggested that students “look at the textbooks because they have been prepared specifically for the discipline and have been chosen by the faculty member to reinforce what the class is all about.” Don’t show love to your books once a year; make it more than your valentine.  Instead take time to challenge your brain in deep reading sessions.

PowerPoints that your professors provide are just a skim of the actual information found in your textbook. For a deeper understanding of the material covered in class Wise purposes that students challenge themselves academically and open the textbooks that for the most part, never get to see the light of the day.

Activate your brain and reduce time spent on mobile devices. Besides, everything on the web is there to stay forever. Your ability to ace an unexpected pop quiz may only come once.

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