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January 05, 2011

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I learned to read when I was Eleven before that I did not want to read because I wanted to be a footballer. I had no interest in reading. All I did was play football constantly.

My mother kept trying to help me to learn but I just was not interested. I was convinced I would be a footballer.

One morning I was in class and 10 minutes away from break. I had my ball all I could think about was playing football. A prefect came to our class and told the teacher I was wanted in the Head Masters Office.

I went to his office but was surprised to see my mother in the office. I looked at my mom and the headteacher. There was a brief discussion about my grades that bad because I could not read.

I was not interested I just wanted to play football. I did not understand why they were so worried. I was going to be a footballer for sure.

After the meeting my mom kissed me and said be good. I missed my break and had to go straight back into class. Later that day before Lunch. The Headteacher stopped me in the Corridor and said Kenneth how are you going to be a footballer if you cannot sign your autograph or read.

I looked at him and the light came on, within six months I could read there was no way I was going to let not being able to read and write stop me from being a footballer. I never did make it as a footballer but that is another story.

However I learned to read and write and that has helped me through out my life.

Words are such an important part of my life. They crystallize what I feel, they harvest what I think, they allow an outflowing that to me seems impossible any other way. My son struggles with words. Not reading them, but finding them stuck in his brain. He's only 4 but can read books most second graders can't read. Because reading words takes him to a place he can't get to alone. Talking about the book is nearly impossible for him, but showing me the thoughts that a book ignites isn't. Without reading, there are so many things that would be locked away for him. So many things I wouldn't know that he could do, could think, could feel. I am very grateful to books and words and reading...for what they have brought to me and what they have unlocked in my son.

What a great story Kenny! Good reminder of how we can motivate rather than force.

Words have been my life. Without the written word, I'd have no place to escape, or to learn at my own pace, or to put down the feelings I don't want to share. I'd never have gone to college, wouldn't have met some of my dear friends, wouldn't have married my husband, had these kids, or moved to MA. I can't even imagine a world where things I consider so basic and so necessary aren't.

I remember transitioning from "guessing" what the words were on the pages to reading when I was about 5 or 6 and in love with the Amelia Bedelia books.
I remember learning to read more complex words and gaining confidence as a reader as I read the scriptures with my family.
Besides knowledge and enlightenment I get from actually reading, I love conversations with others, especially my immediate family, regarding literature. It feels satisfying to support them in finding value in reading and exploring characters, experiences, words, etc.
For the past two summers our family has had successful reading challenges (100 books each summer). I have found literature to be a great bridge for age gaps between siblings. Hearing them discuss literature and encourage each other's reading progress brings me joy.

I love Dick and Jane! It's like a window opening up when you realize you've entered a new world of reading. Love to read. You read some hefty books!

I'm loving this daily gratitude journal. What a great idea! And I'm thankful I can read, too.

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About this blog

  • When I took a sabbatical from Wall Street to pursue a different dream and help others live theirs, I learned that women in the U.S. may be placated, even pampered, but because we aren't dreaming, we are also desperate and depressed. Drawing on a variety of sources, ranging from academic studies to pop culture, dare to dream encourages us to dream. And then to act on our dreams.

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