Note ~ I posted this late Tuesday, in anticipation of Julie's Hump Day Hmmmm. That still counts, doesn't it? You can find the other contributors here: http://theartfulflower.blogspot.com/2008/01/hump-day-hmm-for-january-30-2008-sweet.htmlI've talked about my sister before; how she makes such beautiful dolls and how she imbued the world for me with magic from early on, but not, I think, about another gift that she gave me.
As the oldest, my sister naturally went to school first. One of her favorite games during that time was to play School, where she was the teacher and my brothers and I were the students. Of course we were quite a naughty and disruptive class, my older brother invariably being sent to the principal for disciplinary measures, and my younger brother continually falling off the front seat of the old antique schoolhouse desk, but I think, for me, more than a little of what she was play-teaching actually sank in.
I don't remember ever actually learning how to read, as a child. When I went to kindergarten it was assumed that none of us could read, so the teacher started from scratch with the ABCs and the basic colors, etc. She must not have been a particularly perceptive teacher, because she told my parents that she thought I might be a little on the retarded side, because I was quiet and rarely talked during class. Honestly, all I remember of the woman was her massive thighs, tightly clad in support hose, so they had a distinctive swish when she walked or sat, which (I don't know why) fascinated me.
What she didn't know would most certainly fill a book; she certainly never discovered that the reason I said very little in class was due to being bored out of my mind. I wasn't interested in learning the ABCs because my sister had already taught me them, as well as how to read, and if you know me, then you know I was born knowing my colors, or at least acquired the knowledge shortly afterwards! I don't recall the teacher ever really teaching us much more than separate words in kindergarten, but when I went to first grade, I knew how to read, and not just a smattering, or laboriously. I can remember feeling extremely irritated when other kids were called on to read, because of how badly they would read! I was invariably somewhere else in the book, having lost all patience with listening to another kid stumble and grope through "See Dick. See Dick run. Run Dick, run. Oh, oh, oh. Dick runs fast." For crying out loud - it's a worse plot than a soap opera and just as predictable! How hard can it be to read the same three words?
In the past few years, with the struggle I've had with my youngest son's reading, I have turned to my first and best teacher many times, for advice and ideas of how to jump start his interest. When that breakthrough finally happened last week, she was there celebrating it as well, saying,
"It's so telling what book geeks you and I are that we get so excited over our kids reading...it's the BEST feeling when they finally get it!"
It is indeed the best feeling Cin! So if I never said it before, then I want to say to my first and best teacher, my sister, Thank You - it has made all the difference, for not only me, but for my kids as well!