I was one of those kids who was born to read. Always well ahead of the rest of my class, I was often sent to classrooms with older students for my reading lessons. I adored reading, I thought everyone should be reading as much as I was, and so I cajoled all the kids around me into reading. Most of them didn’t appreciate my overbearing nature when it came to reading, a lot of them simply didn’t like to read, or hadn’t yet learned how to read proficiently enough to enjoy it. I looked at classmates who couldn’t read with disdain, and began choosing my friends based on how well they could read. I couldn’t imagine how horrible it would be to not be able to read.
It wasn’t until I got older that I realized there were quite a few people who couldn’t read, including adults, and instead of focusing on the ignominy of such a lack of skill, I began to support programs that taught people how to read. There was still nothing worse to me than not being able to read, but I didn’t blame anyone anymore for their digressions – instead I chose to educate them. I was very secure in my singular, English speaking world – there was no question of my literacy.
As I sit with my mother-in-law and struggle over the correct pronunciation of Greek words I remember my early years and wallow in the irony of it all. Sure, in