(my stop watch from Modcloth)
As far back as I can remember I've always loved learning. What pleasure it is to have that attitude. It has led me to appreciate the smallest of successes and to finding passion.
The thing about learning is that it leads to unique experiences, ones that either teach you that this is exactly what you want to do or teacher you that you want to go in a direction very different from this. Most importantly however, I am glad that the lesson of learning is that there are choices to be had.
So many people have mourned their school going days and while mine were not ideal, there has always been the upside of being in a place were the sole purpose was to saturate me with knowledge.
Now while I wish it did more by way of direction I do appreciate the exposure in the earlier days of my life to such a scenario. This foundation that explained to me that so many roads exist to be pursued, meant I had not just a lot to learn but a lot to choose to learn. I had knowledge in all disciplines offering themselves up to jump into my brain if I so desired.
As I grew my learning led to experience and that lead to choice but it began with a teacher. When I was young I had a horrible teacher, one I have wrote about not on this blog, if you'd like i'll share that with you upon request (it's a bit heavy) Thankfully my entire school experience did not rely on her who almost crushed so many parts of me.
Instead, I was fortunate enough to move into the class of another. A woman who made a point of reading books to us every single day, chapter by chapter. The Wizard of Oz in fact. I remember well but one does not usually forget things like that. I remember because I looked forward to it every day. I knew when that bell rang she would open that book and continue from where she had stopped the day before. I hung on to every well articulated, emotion filled word. Something inside me stirred. Perhaps that is the wrong word, something inside me hurricaned.
By this time I was still a struggling new reader myself. I was a writer already, in fact two years before I had started drawing out my stories as I could not yet spell the words to add to the pictures, I would narrate them as I went. The year after that I had begun to read, a teacher called us individually and let us practice. She still remembers how i would tell her she forgot to call me up. For even though it was nerve wrecking to go up to the teachers desk, even though the books were printed so small for me I wanted to try because I knew I wanted to learn to read. She saw this passion and realised while other students were ducking i was standing up and so took time with me.
Flash back to the teacher that read to me. She did not just inspire she met me one day. One morning, early before many others had arrived she walked up to me and she told me she wouldn't be back the next term and my heart broke. I don't know what else she told me but I distinctly remember it was something along the lines of continue, learn because I would finish the book myself.
She believed I would finish reading the book myself. That big book?! (it was large print coincidently so it seemed pretty large for a 9 year old ) With my minimal reading ability?! She knew I was going to do it even though she was not going to see me do it.
The next term Miss did not return to the school. I never came to know what happened to her. I am thankful that learning makes choice her travel mate. It begins with a teacher. I am thankful to that teacher for giving me the power of choice and for spotting my passion.
As for what happened to me? Well, mere months late I read my first book independently (Baby Sitters Club #50) then another and another and another and ones in the dark, and ones on the bus and a couple thousand 'nothers after that. In fact, I haven't really stopped since.
Peace. Love. Happy World International Teachers' Day.