Something I have realized over the past few days is that I am really bad at reading aloud.
I used to be really good at that. I was the kid in elementary school that had one of the highest words per minute when the teachers used to test us. But I suppose I haven’t read aloud much since elementary school. Until now, at least.
In this past week, alone, I have struggled through reading both English and Spanish aloud. Occasionally I read my readings for my Spanish classes aloud, so I get used to reading. But I don’t do it to often or for too long, because it takes me nearly twice as long to read something in Spanish as it would for me to read it in English. But wow, it was a struggle. My tongue seemed to get tied up in my mouth and I had trouble pronouncing words that I could say in normal conversation. Not only could I not speak the words, I also seemed unable to read what was actually written on the page. This was a problem I had when I was first learning to read in English. I used to read a loose adaptation of what was written, but never could form the verbatim sentence.
I also worked on a radio story for my convergence class. I would read the story aloud so my partner and I could gauge how long our script was. But just like reading in Spanish, it was hard to get the words out. It was even more of a struggle to get the pauses and inflections to sound natural as I spoke in my “broadcast voice.”
I suppose reading aloud is an aspect of my communications skills that I haven’t practiced in a while, and something that clearly needs a lot of work.
I have listened to several episodes on This American Life recently, and it desperately makes me want to be able to tell a story vocally like Ira Glass.
That may not be in the cards for me, but for now, it’s an honorable goal.