In 1968 i was eleven and beginning 6th grade, which was “Junior High” and a very big deal. A few “oddballs” that came from the various elementary schools in town were collected together into a “awkward” learning cohort…i think maybe 5 of us? It’s been a while and I am past my Jubilee 50th birthday year, which of course not only freed me from debt, but also from much of my memory.
Math was fun since three of us considered it one of the best games in the universe. Today they employ empowering terms like “Mathlete,” to describe a child with these inclinations…back then we were simply known as nerds…which did not increase our popularity, not that any of us noticed.
Reading Class, on the other hand, was just plain weird science. I mean, i loved to read: don’t get me wrong! In fact, what i loved most about reading was the way it was no respecter of time. There you were one minute barely aware of that opening sentence and the next moment – which was often many hours later- you were changed. Like you had been the reluctant recipient of alien experimentation, dropped back into your comfy chair several hours later with your eyebrows singed off. I LOVED that feeling. And this class – meant to accelerate our reading rate while simultaneously advancing our comprehension to that of a twelfth grader (which, by the way, the mathematician in me deduced to be in direct correlation to a reduction in the pleasure derived from the reading)- stunk.
So… fast forwarding 40 plus years to the weekend of Dorothy’s Memorial…my friend, Elesa, queried me once again on my disregard for fiction. I mumbled something like, “Ya-da-ya-da, school books, non-fiction, wrestling with theological blah-blah…i guess i’m just not drawn to fiction…i’ve tried…i get bored…” But, you know what, Elesa? I think that, at the root, back in sixth grade I was in such a hurry to please my teachers that i lost my way to the real wow of wonderment.
So, I’m ready to take a chance again. I’ve downloaded Gilead. And I’m giving myself permission to get lost in space, eyebrows be damned.
Hold Fast to Your Dreams