Fun with Dick & Jane

There was this moment my junior year of high school where my grades slipped pretty low. It was my first D ever and I had the nerve to bring home a couple Cs with it. Parents called for a conference with my academic coordinator and all my teachers. The first time my parents had to come up to the school my whole high school career. I worked hard to hide any prior kind of back to school nights or opportunities for parent-teacher conferences. Well, when it was time to talk to the English teacher (Vicnent or Svenson or something like that. she had a fit every time a student yawned) I explained my struggle with keeping up with readings and assignments in her class. Unfortunately, no one did anything about it. The problem would get worse with time.

I loved the library as a kid. I knew the Dewey Decimal System. I would take out huge stacks of books every visit. I always intended to read all of them but school took up a lot of my time and energy to read. Add that to me being a chronically slow reader and I would get through just a few pages of 2-3 books. I was a great reader but very slow at it. This deficit got harder to deal with over the years as school's demand for reading increased. How much I was expected to read in a certain time frame was just never realistic for me. I could read a couple pages and not remember what was said. It was/is something hard to extract an overall message. After so long, I also would always fall asleep while reading. I could read aloud, in my mind, sitting, standing, outside, in the sun. It didn't matter. Nothing I tried helped and there was no way for me to keep up with the demand.

I could read aloud to an audience with drama and flare. I would have a hard time summarizing what I read.

Pop quizzes were my worst enemy. I never did well on them. I could read the material and understand it very well but couldn't remember the details the teacher wanted. This changed if I needed to cram for an assignment or test that I knew about. The stress of the immediate and important due date somehow always made me capable of reading and memorizing the information necessary to do well.

A few years ago I was in grad school and I was casually researching about my reading problem. I was trying to find a name for it or an explanation of it. There had to be other people out there with the same issues and some way they were coping. The struggle of trying to keep up in school and reach grad school reading expectation was taking a huge toll. The best thing I found that touched on what I might be dealing with was this article. Still, understanding it didn't mean fixing it.

Today, I don’t find reading very pleasurable. I read for information for the most part. I have a hard time reading stories. I went through a phase where I would binge read interesting articles online in order to share them on FB. It was all to give the illusion that I’m well read because well read meant smart. Sadly I don’t retain much of it.

I compensate though, somehow.

Blank Spaces

Smarter Than You