Marathon Writing: #2 at the Public Library

Writing Marathon

Like Colleen, my family did and does not value reading like I do. 
It is interesting to me that my parents produced two teachers.  
Growing up reading was seen as being lazy.  There was always work to 
do, cooking, cleaning, gardening, canning,stacking firewood. 
But oddly, I don't remember learning to read.  My first memory 
with letters involves kindergarten.  

I was the last one to copy the alphabet of a chart.  I remember 
my twin sister urging me to work faster and finish.  Strangely, 
that seem to set a pattern for decades of our lives.  I also remember 
complaining to my mother about my last name being too long.
Rogalewski has ten letters to remember, and it took a long time to
form the letters.  My mother says we both wanted to become Smiths!  

Remember reading groups?  As I look back with my adult eye, I have
figured out that I was not in the top reading group.  Our groups were 
all bird names, red birds, blue birds.  I don't remember my 
group's name.  Intuitively, I mean all I had to do was look 
around, I knew I was in the lowest group.  Maybe we were the blackbirds.

In fourth grade, intervention came.  I know pulling students out 
of class to remediate has a negative reputation today, but
it saved me.  (I must have been struggling in all areas because it
was the same time my mother put me in a gymnastics class. I figure
I lacked coordination, and this was a teacher's recommendation.  
(I'll blame it on being a premie. ) I loved the attention I got
during the pull out time.  I vaguely remember going to some tiny 
office (maybe a renovated closet) and playing some kind of board 
game and earning prizes of some sort for reading books.  I read 
ten and graduated.  Somehow there was no shame in it for me.

I don't know who that teacher or para pro was, but I'd love to 
thank her now.

Ironically, I became the English major in college.  I loved to 
read, maybe not voraciously, but stories could take me to lands 
I had traveled and to people I had never met.


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