Because of the way I grew up, my reference was a little skewed from the norm. For instance I failed the test to get into kindergarten, not because I couldn’t do what they asked but because I did it different. When ask what a picture was I didn’t say bird, I said that’s a dove. Apparently specificity is not what they wanted for a kindergartner.
I also didn’t read well for whatever reason and was put in a special group to get my skills up to par in the second grade. It took a year and half but I finally tested out of that skills group. I was never special ed, but my school thankfully didn’t need me to test into special ed in order to get the help I needed. Unlike today’s school system, but that is a whole other post.
I was so borderline that I didn’t get a pass onto to the next grade from a teacher until after the fifth grade. Up until then my teacher would leave that part of my report card blank and leave it up to my parents on whether or not I would go to the next grade. When my tiny rural school closed it’s doors and we were all transferred to a neighboring (larger) district my parents wanted to hold me back. This spurred me to make better grades, barely.
I some how made it into the higher math class in Jr High, but I barely stayed in it with my C average that could dive perilously close to a D. Then I started reading…. a lot of reading. It helped me cope with the bullying I dealt with on a daily basis, not so much from the girls in my class, but the boys. And somewhere about the time I hit 9th grade my brain changed. I suddenly started being able to do the math and remember facts from history, my grades slowly improved till I was in the top ten percent of our class by graduation. I went onto get a Math degree and I currently teach Jr High math at a rural school. Where I try to see the potential in my students that they don’t see in themselves. The same potential that my Jr High math teacher saw in me.
Thanks Mrs J! (math teacher) And thank you Mrs Rhinehart (english teacher) for teaching a literature class my Junior year that just let me read for an hour everyday. You let us pick any book we wanted, Romance novels to classics like Jane Eyre and Fellowship of the Ring all the way over to The Fountainhead that year.
With all that being said here are some the books that have had the most influence on me over the years.
Dan Simmons (Sci fi extraordinaire)
Nora Roberts (My favored Romance novelist. Down to earth stories and people.)
Anne Rice (Teenage me loved paranormal.)
Danielle Steele (Sweet accessible stories of my teenage years)
Sandra Brown (Accessible romances that aren’t bogged down in details. They allowed my imagination to fill in the gaps)
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