3 things to keep your mind sharp this summer

Bernie with students

Bernard “Bernie” Jim is a SAGES Teaching Fellow, which means he is one of the first of many teachers and advisors Case Western Reserve University students have. This week he has some good advice for you to make the most of your summer.

Here’s Bernie’s three-step plan:

Step 1: Read books, listen to music and watch movies with intentionality. Why did Taylor Swift sing that lyric and not something else? Is time travel as depicted in the Avengers movie plausible? How does your favorite author use words to create an image in your mind?

Step 2: Follow leads and build your knowledge. If your favorite genre to read is the mystery novel, find and read the classics. How has constructing a mystery changed since Chandler’s The Big Sleep? What does Brie Larson do in her performances that makes her such a great actor? If Guillermo del Toro directed your favorite film, ask yourself what differentiates his directorial style from other directors. If you have a favorite band, find out their influences, and listen to them, too. Greta Van Fleet will lead you to Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin will lead to Chicago-style blues and so on.

Step 3: Share your experiences and discuss your insights with others. Tell your friends that you are all going to watch Rocketman, and they need to be prepared to discuss the film with you. What evidence do you need to use to convince them of your point-of-view? What did they see that you might have missed?