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Editor’s Note: This article appears in a series entitled “What Drives Me,” exploring the passions and defining characteristics of several students on campus. Read and watch our additional stories on a students’ caffeine dependence, unique hair and piercings, and dedication to dancing.
Interview and editing by Vivian Lam, Kayla Maanum and LeAnn Maanum
High Tide Online sits with Allen at his favorite reading spot. He shares a passage from an “urban fantasy” novel in his backpack and describes what it means to love reading.
Story by Kayla Maanum
He lounges with his back rested against the cool wall of the culinary arts building. The warmth of the vibrant sun engulfs him as he flips through the last crinkly pages of the book. To junior Skyler Allen, reading is not only a hobby he loves, but also what defines him.
Allen’s passion of reading is evident to all passersby.
“I read everyday. At school when I finish assignments or at lunch, I generally take out my book and read,” Allen said.
Learning strategies management teacher Kathleen Madden, who taught Allen the last two years, believes Allen’s mentality is a reason for his hobby.
“I think [reading] totally defines who he is because that’s what he does,” Madden said. “He is very motivated to read, and people just know that about him.”
His motivation for reading stems from his desire to learn about new topics in entertaining ways.
“[Reading helps me learn about] little bits of trivia and history, and also about mythology, I always think reading makes a person smarter, and it just sometimes helps you learn something interesting,” Allen said.
Madden believes through the knowledge Allen gains from reading, he has done well academically.
“[Allen] did exceptionally well in the verbal section of the SAT. [His vocabulary] helps him express himself because he can use a variety of words. He has a very extensive vocabulary,” Madden said.
Allen has been positively affected through reading. Madden believes Allen’s personality contributes to the educational benefit he gains from reading.
“It’s just naturally really engaging for him and stimulating for him. He’s just got that type of intellectual brain so he really gets into the writing and the characters,” Madden said.
Allen immerses himself in about five books per week. Madden is proud of Allen’s dedication to his hobby.
“In today’s age we recognize movie stars and athletes, so I’m just proud of him and all the work he’s put in and I’m glad that he’s been recognized [for his reading],” Madden said.
Today, and all the days to come, Allen will have a book in his hands.
“[Reading is] something I really enjoy. I just know that I want to keep reading,” Allen said. “I think if a person just finds the right book, they can really enjoy it,” he said.