This I Believe

Richard - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on February 15, 2007
Age Group: 50 - 65
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This, I believe. That populations can be divided into two groups. There are those that are readers and there are those that aren’t. For some, reading became the basis for the accumulation of personal knowledge, whether correct or otherwise. For the poor reader, standing and reading became a group project as only classmates could teach the fine art of embarrassment. Help came in the form remedial reading classes. My recollection of these classes was that they reinforced our reading disability. Our interests were in other forms of communication and consequently class discipline didn‘t exist. In contrast to those people who could read well, our group was looked upon as unmotivated, underachievers and cause for numerous parental visits to school and consequential punishment at home. For those with this problem, learning in the typical classroom required social and academic ploys that enabled us to hide the problem. Sometimes learning by other means became an obsession in order to maintain one‘s status in the class. A continuous challenge to each step of one’s matriculation. Reading is difficult, laborious, challenging and the lack of good skills caused one to create compensating mechanisms. We created words. We forged ideas and developed skills that are based upon spatial considerations or the spoken word. The world became a tactile and auditory paradise. Suddenly, day-dreaming became data-processing and superseded the visual process associated with reading. Nevertheless and in spite of many obstacles, many of us have turned out as good breadwinners for our families. Some, now scientists, financiers, physicians and dentists have done very well. Most have come to grips with the world and probably ask the question: what would I have become if I could have read better?