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When I was a freshman at Bemidji State I lived in the dorms. My roommates name was Chad. He had a girlfriend who attend Moorhead State. Her name was Jodi. I didn't get a chance to meet Jodi until very late in the year, around February. But up until that time, I had gotten to know her very well. The thing was that since they lived so far apart they didn't call each other until late at night. Most of the time, when she called, Chad wasn't there. It was actually quite ironic, Jodi's roommate was a girl that I graduated with. This led to many conversations, many that over a half an hour. I had seen pictures of her so I knew what she looked like, but I was starting to get a picture of what she was like as a person. I did this through observation of her tone of voice in certain situation, word usage, and overall temperament. By temperament I mean was she happy, sad, or confused in general. All of this gave me a pretty good idea as to what kind of person she was.
One day in February I had the opportunity to find out exactly what she like. She came to visit Chad, and stay the night. This gave us a chance to talk face to face. It was very funny, because she was exactly like I thought she would be. I couldn't believe that I had gotten all of this information about her just by listening to the way that she talked. Some might say that a situation like this and one in where you read something are totally different, but I believe that they are very similar.
Reading a piece of writing by a person that you do not personally know is the same as having a conversation with a person over the telephone that you have never met before. In both cases you try to get to know the person better by the words that they use. The means of communication makes no difference. One of the main difference between the reading and listening, though, is that when you listen to a person you can detect inflections and tones that a person uses while talking. When you read you have to rely on the author to provide you with the voice of the characters or maybe even himself.
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