181 Words (A Brief Commentary on Listening to New Readers)

It took Madeline one hour to read one hundred and eighty one words. I did the math, and this means that she averaged three words per minute.

Here’s an exercise: set a timer for one minute. Read three words, then sit in silence for the remaining 59 seconds. When the buzzer goes off, imagine it had taken you the entire minute to read those three words. Seriously, go do this.

Now imagine sitting for AN HOUR listening to another person read at that pace.

If you are struggling to imagine what that feels like, allow me to illuminate. It feels like a train full of manic anxiety collided with a train full of mind-numbing boredom at 181mph, and you were standing at the point of impact.  It feels like you're burning to death in a catastrophic explosion, but you can’t die. You just keep burning - for an hour.

I’m not saying listening to a new reader is hell, I’m just saying it’s like eternal burning. Don’t put words in my mouth.  

Fun fact: this blog post is 181 words long.