Phantom Scribbler has a school reminiscence which reminded me of my fifth grade teacher.
In general, this teacher was cool - she taught us about critical viewing of advertisements, she introduced us to Holly Near's music, she had us writing poetry and stuff. But....
I may have told you folks once or twice that I like to read.
I like to read a lot. I mean I read often, in bulk. I also love to read.
I'm like Scrooge McDuck - I love to dive into it like a porpoise, burrow through it like a gopher, toss it up and let it hit me on the head. But where he's talking about money, I'm talking about the printed word.
Ms. Fifth Grade Teacher was worried that I was hurting my friends' feelings because I wasn't playing with them enough. Because during my free time at school I would read. Nevermind that I played with them outside of school and during recess and all that crap, and nevermind that my friends didn't mind AT ALL, I was spending too much time with my fictional friends and not enough time with the real ones.
So new rule: little miss Mystery Mommy could use only 15 minutes of free time to read. All other "free" time had to be spend interacting with the other kids in the class.
That was really the start of my reading disorder. I would sneak books. I hid them in my desk, open to the page I was reading and slide it out during class time when I was done doing whatever work I needed to do (not a lot in that school). I stopped doing homework, I played less with friends after school. I would take books out at recess and my friends would cover for me. I was a classic binge reader. I guess I still am. I read the last Harry Potter book in one sitting. I can read and walk down a busy New York Street at the same time. I'm a bookaholic and I'm proud of it.
So, did I ever forgive Ms. Fifth Grade Teacher? Uh-huh. She stayed in touch with my mom and we all had dinner together when I was 25. "You're the same age I was when I taught you!" she said. In that moment, all was forgiven.
Through My Glasses, Dorkily
5 years ago