Day: November 5, 2019

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry

Unless you’re currently in high school or taking an English class in college, chances are that you don’t read much poetry. After all, lots of people find it boring, unfathomable, too erudite or pointless.

However, there are loads of great reasons to read poetry. Before you dislike something without trying it, consider these:

Poetry Doesn’t Take Long to Read

Most poems are short (though “epic poems”, like Milton’s Paradise Lost and Spencer’s The Faerie Queen can be longer than novels). You can easily read a short poem or several poems during your coffee break. You can also read them while standing in line at the bank or while eating a sandwich at lunch time.

If you “don’t have the time to read”, try switching to poetry instead of novels. For a lot of people, it does the trick.

Poetry Improves Your Vocabulary

Reading poetry is a great way to improve your vocabulary. If your usual reading material consists of magazines, newspapers, and blogs, you’re unlikely to be encountering any new words.

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve come across these unusual words in poems:

  • Amnion- the thin membrane that surrounds a fetus in the womb
  • Skedaddle- scram or hurry away (familiar to Americans, but more unusual over here in the UK _
  • Chongalolas- a chongalola is a type of tree found in Africa

If you’re studying English, especially as a foreign language student, the vocabulary-boosting benefits of poetry are well worth the time you’ll invest reading it.

Poetry Gives You New Ideas

Like any great writing, poetry can open up your mind to new ideas. You might read a poem from a completely different culture or written by someone much older or much younger than you.

A poem could give you insight into a problem you’re struggling with. Poems use symbolism and subtexts to sneak under the rational mind. They can help you access the power of the subconscious which responds strongly to images and metaphor. 

Poetry Shows the World In a New Light

Poets want you to see some aspects of the world in a new light. They can give you an unusual turn of phrase or image that focuses your attention on something in a completely new way. Commonplace objects and events take on a new meaning when tackled by poets.

I choose to ignore my instinct for the sky’s
warning – the way each light flicks out
the strange smell in the air, a herbal brew;
you are crying to go out and the four walls
of the villa are coming in like a fast tide.
– First stanza of “Summer Storm, Capolona” by Jackie Kay 

Poetry Makes You Think

If you find poetry hard, be heartened. Reading it stretches your mind and forces you to think. When something challenges, surprises, and even offends you in a poem, that’s helping you to question pre-conceptions that you might have. It allows you to move beyond your comfort zone.

Even if you come across poems you dislike, you can at least figure out what it is you hate about them.

Poetry Is Fun

My ultimate reason to read poetry is simply to enjoy it. Whether you’re drawn into the story, engaged by a fascinating character in a poem, delighted by a beautiful turn of phrase or laughing out loud at a joke, there’s a lot of fun to be had from reading poetry.

This complete poem by Carol Ann Duffy made me laugh. It’s not very different from a joke.

Mrs Darwin
7th April 1852
Went to the Zoo.
I said to Him –
Something about that chimpanzee over there reminds me of you.

If you’ve not yet found a poet who you love, keep looking. Try asking for recommendations at your local library or bookstore. And if you do have a favorite poet or favorite poem, tell us in the comments!

See Also: 13 Ways to Get More Reading Done (Even If You Don’t Have the Time)

Written by Ali Hale who runs Alpha Student, a blog packed with academic, financial and practical tips to help students get the most out of their time at university.

The post Six Reasons You Should Consider Reading Poetry appeared first on Dumb Little Man.

Colbert mocks Republicans’ ‘desperate’ new impeachment defense strategy

Stephen Colbert summed up another weekend in the Trump era on Monday Night’s Late Show, and it still isn’t getting any less weird.

Between the president officially leaving New York City (for tax reasons) and Titanic-groping a baseball player at the White House as thanks for donning a MAGA hat, it’s been an interesting few days. Then, of course, there’s the impeachment latest.

In the face of House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff releasing transcripts of the inquiry testimony, which the GOP had been decrying as “secretive,” Colbert explains that some Trump defenders are thinking they might switch to a new tactic: admitting that there may have been a quid pro quo, then just trying to downplay the negative spin. Read more…

More about Ted Cruz, Trump, Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Impeachment, and Entertainment

Gradeup raises $7M to expand its online exam preparation platform to smaller Indian cities and towns

Gradeup, an edtech startup in India that operates an exam preparation platform for undergraduate and postgraduate level courses, has raised $7 million from Times Internet as it looks to expand its business in the country.

Times Internet, a conglomerate in India, invested $7 million in Series A and $3 million in Seed financing rounds of the four-year-old Noida-based startup, it said. Times Internet is the only external investor in Gradeup, they said.

Gradeup started as a community for students to discuss their upcoming exams, and help one another with solving questions, said Shobhit Bhatnagar, cofounder and CEO of Gradeup, in an interview with TechCrunch.

While those functionalities continue to be available on the platform, Gradeup has expanded to offer online courses from teachers to help students prepare for exams in last one year, he said. These courses, depending on their complexity and duration, cost anywhere between Rs 5,000 ($70) and Rs 35,000 ($500).

“These are live lectures that are designed to replicate the offline experience,” he said. The startup offers dozens of courses and runs multiple sessions in English and Hindi languages. As many as 200 students tune into a class simultaneously, he said.

Students can interact with the teacher through a chatroom. Each class also has a “student success rate” team assigned to it that follows up with each student to check if they had any difficulties in learning any concept and take their feedback. These extra efforts have helped Gradeup see more than 50% of its students finish their courses — an industry best, Bhatnagar said.

Each year in India, more than 30 million students appear for competitive exams. A significant number of these students enroll themselves to tuitions and other offline coaching centers.

“India has over 200 million students that spend over $90 billion on different educational services. These have primarily been served offline, where the challenge is maintaining high quality while expanding access,” said Satyan Gajwani, Vice Chairman of Times Internet.

In recent years, a number of edtech startups have emerged in the country to cater to larger audiences and make access to courses cheaper. Byju’s, backed by Naspers and valued at over $5.5 billion, offers a wide-ranging self-learning courses. Vedantu, a Bangalore-based startup that raised $42 million in late August, offers a mix of recorded and live and interactive courses.

Co-founders of Noida-based edtech startup Gradeup

But still, only a fraction of students take online courses today. One of the roadblocks in their growth has been access to mobile data, which until recent years was fairly expensive in the country. But arrival of Reliance Jio has solved that issue, said Bhatnagar. The other is acceptance from students and more importantly, their parents. Watching a course online on a smartphone or desktop is still a new concept for many parents in the country, he said. But this, too, is beginning to change.

“The first wave of online solutions were built around on-demand video content, either free or paid. Today, the next wave is online live courses like Gradeup, with teacher-student interactivity, personalisation, and adaptive learning strategies, deliver high-quality solutions that scale, which is particularly valuable in semi-urban and rural markets,” said Times Internet’s Gajwani.

“These match or better the experience quality of offline education, while being more cost-effective. This trend will keep growing in India, where online live education will grow very quickly for test prep, reskilling, and professional learning,” he added.

Gradeup has amassed over 15 million registered students who have enrolled to live lectures. The startup plans to use the fresh capital to expand its academic team to 100 faculty members (from 50 currently) and 200 subject matters and reach more users in smaller cities and towns in India.

“Students even in smaller cities and towns are paying a hefty amount of fee and are unable to get access to high-quality teachers,” Bhatnagar said. “This is exactly the void we can fill.”