- Press START TEST. Read the text at your own pace.
- In the end press STOP TEST. Your reading speed is displyed on the screen.
- Press OK and complete immediately the questionnaire for conclusive results.
- Press SHOW MEMORY RESULT, check the correct answers and SEND QUESTIONNAIRE.
Andrew hung up the phone, already occupied with the activities he had to do at the office. The end of the day was quickly approaching, which was usually making him happy. Shortly, he has put away his thoughts about speed reading, focusing his attention towards the numbers that Corinne put on his desk. Also, she was the one to remind him of Jake, who had to be picked up from school.
- Would you like me to go after Jake? – she asked, being obviously familiarized with the boy.
Andrew thanked her, but decided to pick him up himself this time. Jake was anxiously waiting him in front of the school, together with the biology teacher, who was also his class master. He had a vague feeling of negative energy going through his spine. He resisted to shake his head and hands to get rid of this shiver, parking the car at the same time close to the two of them. Then, he saw Jake with his eyes cried out and a pretty big bruise around his right eye. The class master was agitated and was frowning because of the strong wind, which was sweeping the leaves and the dust on the whole street, rummaging her hair and frowning her forehead. She looked a lot older in this state, a thing Andrew could not overlook.
- What happened? – he asked, but the woman made a sign for all of them to sit in the car.
The first raindrops started to fall on the car’s windows as soon as they closed the doors. They were big and were hitting the black paint of the car strongly. Andrew was sure that it was going to rain with ice. The conditions were perfect, the hotness outside being suffocating and oppressive.
A heated discussion followed between him and the class master, a discussion at which Jake had to assist, because of the rain. Some guy beat him up, but the class master kept claiming that it was the boy’s fault. She said that he made a fake fire cracker, which he put in one of the boys’ backpack. From that until the fight was only one more step.
- Is this true, Jake? – Andrew asked without looking at the boy.
- They were bullying Elena! In every brake…, the boy teared up and a knot was formed in this throat.
On the way home neither of them said a word. Both of them were musing, oppressed by the events they had to face up to.
- A fake fire cracker, Jake? How did you obtain such thing?
- Our chemistry teacher was talking about…
- No, I don’t want to hear about it, I understood – he interrupted the boy, choosing to submerge in his thoughts again.
- Did you know that the muscles of our eyeballs are the fastest ones in our body? – he heard himself asking Jake, who was sitting in the backseat tied with the seatbelt.
- I am in 5th grade! I didn’t have biology class yet. – he exclaimed, hitting his forehead with his palms and rolling his eyes, making a puffing noise at the same time, as a sign of exasperation.
- Yes, Jake I know that you are still young, but can you imagine? A muscle that focalizes a word in 20-150 milliseconds?
- What are milliseconds?
- They are seconds divided in a thousand pieces – Andrew was thinking of a way to explain this notion better – About as fast as you would say “A”!
- A what?
- “A”, Jake, just “A”! The letter “A” – he reinforced, to make the kid understand.
But Jake said nothing. In the rear-view mirror, Andrew saw how he was repeating the letter A, trying to understand what a millisecond means.
- Yes, Jake – Andrew continued to talk. – Usually people focalize a word in approximately 250-300 milliseconds, which allows them to read approximately 250 words per minute. Interesting, isn’t it? – But Jake didn’t say anything, he fell asleep in his seat, tired and with his mouth slightly opened.
Andrew continued to drive through the sometimes heavy, sometimes calm and warm rain. It was coming in waves towards the car, hitting it with force and making quick, empty noises with no meaning if they were looked at individually and just like an orchestra, if they were listened to in thein infinite totality. In his nostrils Andrew felt the rain’s brackish smell, combined with the dust gathered from the streets. “It’s good that this rain is cleaning these streets! At least something happens in this unfortunate town!” At an intersection, the sewerage could not keep up. The water gathered up there like in a tub. It was brownish and Andrew could not estimate how deep it was. He tried to remember how high the gyratory was, because he could see the light of a pane sticking out of the water. A wave of adrenaline got hold of him, pushing him to get in the water with the car. He packed the engine. Jake woke up and looked terrified at the water in front of the car.
- What happened here?
- A flood, Jake. We need to get to the other side. Hold on tight!
- Why don’t we go on grandma’s street? – Jake was right, an idea of which Andrew didn’t think of.
Slightly disappointed, Andrew turned the car to avoid the flood. He looked in the rear-view mirrors, imagining himself riding those waves, packing the engine to the maximum to stop the water from getting into the installations and finding the way out of the intersection. “250 words per minute with a focalization of 250 milliseconds! Interesting…very interesting! I must meet with the psychologist to have a talk with him.”
He stopped in front of a stylish house, with a nice lawn, but covered in toys, small cars, a bike, a slide and an inflatable pool. Jake’s mother got out of the house with an umbrella. She was heading towards the car. She looked angry. She opened the door and without greeting Andrew, she pulled Jake out of the car. She looked at him for a few seconds, after which she left him in the rain and knocked on the car’s window. Andrew rolled down the window, bored, throwing her an icy look.
- What did he do? – she asked with a thick, hoarse voice, from all the strong cigars she has been smoking for years.