Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Feeding the Monster

Oddly, since the beginning of my academic career at Washington Elementary school I have had a passion for reading. It all began innocently enough. My first grade teacher was Miss Mary Snyder who had been a teacher in our town since the original one room schoolhouse aka the Burts Creek School. Think Little House on the Prairie and you will get the picture. Anyway, as first grade students we were required to choose one book a week from the several shelves in the classroom which we were supposed to take home and read. This was a regular assignment that lasted the whole year. While most of the books were of the See Dick and Jane nature there was a low shelf full of rather large books in the class as well. Enamored by the pictures of exotic things like Eskimos and Igloos I would take these books home for my assignment not knowing that they were fourth and fifth grade level books. As I was the oldest and as kids do not come with an owners manual my Mother thought this was the current level of performance nominally expected of a first grade kid. Thus began what would become a two year period of absolute reading hell. I would have to read a half hour after homework every night. I would whine, she would yell, but unless the heavens came crashing down, I would read.

By the time anyone figured out that there was some kind of mistake two things happened. First, I was able to read at an amazingly fast and accurate rate, and second I developed a life long habit of reading for leisure. The plus side is that I can bang out the average NY Times best seller in about three to four hours. The down side is that drug addiction has to be a less expensive habit. I guess Mom takes some ownership of the problem. Our local Public Library had its annual sale this weekend. What is pictured is the pile she dropped off at my house. Thanks again Mom, that should get me through vacation.

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