My hyperlinked journey: writing my context book report

I’ve had this blog post on my mind ever since I was writing my context book report, so I thought I would finally would write it.

As I stated in my book report Carr argues in The Shallows that our brains are changing and we can not longer concentrate for long periods of time.

Well, I realized while reading and writing my book report that the way I did it was like hyperlinked stages and maybe even demonstrates how I’m not able to concentrate for long periods of time, but in many ways it made writing the book report more enjoyable and memorable.

Theses are the places different places that I read and thought about the book and wrote the report:

1. Read book while traveling by bus to the Buda Hills for a day of solitary hiking.

2. Read book while siting in a secluded place in the Buda Hills after hiking in for a bit.

3. Thought a little bit about the book while hiking, but mostly enjoyed being in nature.

4. Read more of the book while siting under a tree. I had the song War by Kensington (a great video for gymnastics lovers) blaring in my mind while reading it, which was rather distracting.

5. Tried to read the book on the why home, but was too tired after getting lost in the woods.


The campsite where a lady directed me to the bus stop


6. A few days later read the book early in the morning on the way to go running in the rain.

7. Read some more on a random tram ride trying to get dry after running in the rain.

8. Lastly finished reading the book while riding the bus and then siting on Gellert Hill.

9. On the way home could not stop thinking about the book, so wrote rough draft of the report on my phone.

10. Finished writing the report on my computer at home.

As you can see from this list there was a lot of stopping and starting while reading the book, plus the distraction of having a song blaring in my mind. All the stopping and starting in some ways is like our brains hitting a hyperlink in a web page. Yet, I was able to write a mostly coherent report.

The one downside of being out while reading/writing is that I don’t have data on my phone, so I wasn’t able to check the assignment page on the course website and see that I needed to include more of the course content than what I did.



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10 Responses to My hyperlinked journey: writing my context book report

  1. This is a wonderful glimpse into your work as a student. Glad you were out in nature!


  2. Sarah Liberman says:

    I also enjoyed reading about your process. Reading and writing seem more discontinuous and non-linear processes than we are traditionally taught. I like the idea of doing a projects in parts, and as with your hiking and riding, both the distractions and the relaxing venues can help — a lot. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Andrea Meszaros says:

    @sairuh the interesting thing is I find reading on public transportation less distracting than being at home. On the bus/metro/tram there is nothing else to do, while at home there is always cooking and cleaning that needs to be done, plus the Internet. Actually, part of the reason I don’t have data on my phone is because I would be always checking something on it instead of reading or just thinking. I guess in that way I do agree with Carr’s premise in the book (see my report), but I found one way to easily overcome it.


  4. Jenny Clark says:

    How interesting to see your reading/writing process! It is great that you are able to utilize public transportation in such a positive way. My process was more like: read on vacation in Niagara Fall, read at my Mom’s, read at my house, read at my Mom’s, read at my house lol. I do think it is easier to read in short spurts – but I always use a post it as a bookmark and write down the page numbers of passages that I really enjoyed!


  5. Andrea Meszaros says:

    @jclark2704 did you make it over to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls? I love it there!

    And yet public transportation is a great way to catch up on reading. I enjoy it better than driving since I can use my time productively, plus buses and especially anything on rails don’t get lost!


  6. Jenny Clark says:

    @ameszaros Yes, we spent the entire time in the Canadian part! I love Canada!

    I envy you – I have motion sickness and it is impossible for me to read while in a moving vehicle!!


  7. Susan Bliss says:

    Hi Andrea,

    I enjoyed your description of the interruptions and changing context for your reading of The Shallows. We all live in motion at least some of the time, and multi-tasking definitely preceded the Internet. Long periods of quiet for uninterrupted reading are a luxury that not everyone enjoys, but that is what bookmarks are for. And of course, there are internal distractions as well as external ones. Carr keeps talking about “controlling” our minds, which I found amusing, because my mind-monkeys happily jump from branch to branch with or without the cue of smartphone chimes! Part of the gift of having a mind is the spontaneous connections it makes–the leaps of distraction can also integrate disparate elements into a whole. An example of this: an essay about reading while traveling around Budapest jumps transatlantically to Niagara Falls, stimulating happy memories of the lovely Canadian side I frequently visited as a kid growing up in Buffalo. This makes me feel a connection to you and Jenny, which sparks the impulse for me to join the conversation.

    I am in classes with people who live all over the world–separate yet unified, or linked if you will. It’s not exactly the same as sitting around a classroom table in real time in an ivy-covered building. Reading on the bus is not exactly the same as reading in a hushed library carrel either. But luckily the mind adapts and comprehension finds a way. I guess what I’m trying to say is attention is frequently divided, but if you give ideas a chance they will often come together again.


  8. Andrea Meszaros says:

    @susan You grow-up in Buffalo? I didn’t say this in my other post, but I have more than connection to Niagara Falls than visiting it (although I did that as a child), I actually worked in Niagara Falls as a cataloger at a book jobber (Coutts Information Services as it was called about 8 years ago) and I would go shopping in Niagara Falls, New York or Buffalo almost every Saturday after work. Now when I go back to Ontario for the summer I always visit a friend who lives in Fort Erie and we go over to Buffalo together for shopping.

    Fond memories that came out of a post about reading a book on public transportation in Budapest. How strange, but how cool!


  9. Susan Bliss says:

    @ameszaros Yes, I lived there from fifth grade through high school, quite a few years ago! We went to Niagara Falls (Canada) whenever people came to visit.


  10. Andrea Meszaros says:

    @susan When I worked in Niagara Falls, the only time I actually went to the falls was when people came to visit.


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