I am taking two courses right now which are competing with Anna Karenina for my attention. When I’m not reading about Russian love triangles, I am reading about the writing process for my Managerial Communications course or management theory for my Business Management course.
As a student of the humanities, I did not have any exposure to these “hard” skills in my education, nor did I have any interest for them. After entering the real world, however, I began to see the value of formal instruction on more practical topics. This is not to suggest that the study of Shakespearian tragedies has no practical application in today’s world, of course. Likewise, I’m sure we could find some application for my time spent studying the Industrial Revolution and the middle class of Victorian England. It would be hard, though. As much as I loved studying the humanities, my bosses are less concerned with my ability to discuss the causes of the First World War than they are my ability to bring in sales. So, I turned to academia to help me learn how to be a better professional person.
Taking two university-level courses while working full time and trying to read Tolstoy is a lot. It means I’m not making it through AK as quickly as I would like, but I’m doing it! I advanced by another 15% over the long weekend (which doesn’t sound like a lot, but remember the size of this book!). I also read three chapters in my business communications text, and two in my management textbook. All in, I’d say that’s not too shabby.
While I do this, I’m looking longingly at the other books on my shelf which are patiently waiting for me to read them… Sigh.