...that would be me, right?
Growing up I had big plans. Big, big, big plans. I was going to conquer the world, you know, and I knew just how I would do it.
Like many young girls though, I went through a phase where I really wasn't sure what I'd turn out to be... but I knew I would be something.
I was an avid reader back then too. I wasn't big on school books but given a Judy Blume or Beverly Cleary book, and I immediately got lost.
Ramona The Pest was my all-time favorite book. Ramona and I clicked. I'm not sure why I felt a close connection to her or any of the other characters I read about in books but I did; it was like we were all real life buddies and I cherished every minute of those friendships.
My favorite school days were library days.
I must have been 4th, maybe 5th grade, when I became attached to books; a bookworm, if you will. Life for me was all about Ramona and Beezus, Henry and Ribsy, The Boxcar Children—also known as Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny—and of course I can't leave out Margaret from Are You There God, It's Me Margaret.
I didn't know it then but through the love of books, I became the woman I am today—the girl least likely—to become a writer.
In school, I hated English class. Literature, Reading, Writing all bore me and truth be told, I barely made it out Mrs. McNutt's English class the year I graduated high school.
How was it that a young girl who loved to read and write, could hate reading and writing class with a passion?
I'll tell you how...
The education system—not teachers—but the system failed us. Its curriculum, even back in the day, taught kids about memorization and repetition because "they said so", rather than teaching about understanding and meaning. No one reacts positive to being told what to do, but every single one us is receptive to being shown how to do it.
(TELL) a child to like apples and he may not like them.
(TEACH) a child to grow apples, and he will love them.
There I was a young, impressionable girl—eager to learn—but pushed away, rather than pulled in from the things I loved most.
Hindsight... I wasn't, after all, the girl least likely. I was actually the girl likely to do it all—when the world stepped in and told me what I would learn, what I would do, who I would be—and I believed it. And in return I became rebellious to what I loved most.
We may not have the power to change the behavior, the ways and the teachings of "the system", because for the system, it's nothing more than an 8 hour, Monday thru Friday, robotic routine called school; where we're told to open books, study, memorize, and quiz.
Robotic and routine! Sad isn't it?
But we do have the power in who our children become. After all it starts at home. EVERYTHING STARTS AT HOME! Spend time with your kids reading and writing for fun. Show them to be mentally strong. Teach them to follow their passion. Encourage them to think outside the box. Educate them on the world and its derogatory behaviors—because as parents we may wear many hats but the greatest of all is: TEACHER!