Posted by: Dennie | April 23, 2014

Learning To Love Learning

I had an intense dislike of school.

It began on the very first day of  my stellar and productive education.  In kindergarten. There was no formal program in those days, so my parents enrolled me with Miss Barton, an ancient, cranky woman who ran a  pre-first grade out of her house.

I was four or five. The weather was cool that day and  the sky was as gray as the hair of the three spinsters waiting inside the dark and dreary home of Miss Barton.  As I stood sobbing on the sagging front porch of the house, my mother drove away, leaving me alone and afraid with Miss Barton and her two accomplices.

Since that long ago day, I’ve had difficulty with school. I’m beginning to suspect that my struggle wasn’t so much in the learning, but in the method of teaching. An analyst might attribute my lifelong problem to my early experiences; old biddy teachers with zip for personality and patience that could fit on the head of a pin,  young teachers who seemed to think the way to get through to me was to scream at the top of their lungs and keep me in at recess,  and all the others in-between including men who had no business teaching young girls.

But as I jump-start my writing career, I’m discovering a  new side of me. One I never knew existed. I like to learn. Really, really like it. I can’t read enough, can’t absorb enough. It’s like eating ice cream-sweet, delicious and satisfying and I  just want more.

This feeling is totally foreign to me. Go upstairs and study rather than watch television? Stay at home on Sundays and  devour the New York Times instead of going to a flea market? (Okay, so I did go last week, but I wanted to stay home.)  I feel like I’m trying to catch-up on forty lost years.

I’m taking this eagerness as a very good thing. It’s the same excited feeling  that comes with a new car. Flying along with the moon roof open,  wanting to drive forever.

But unlike a new car smell, I think this is going to last.







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