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Welcome to the Tuesday Coffee Hour here on Street Prophets. This is an open thread where we can hang out and talk about what’s going on in our worlds. Do you remember when and how you first learned to read?

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For me, the first two words that I learned to read were “beer” and “bar.” This was, perhaps, prophetic. Later, when I entered school, I expanded my vocabulary slightly.

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Your turn: what do you remember about learning how to read and write? If you can’t remember, then: What’s for dinner?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I remember coming into the house one night (4+ / 0-)

    to find out what we were having for supper.  My sister was sitting at the kitchen table saying words out loud, very carefully.  I asked my mother what she was doing and Mom said, "Reading.  Do you want to learn?"  I said yes - and, as I recall it, two weeks later, I could.

    My mother says that couldn't have happened.  What she remembers is me sitting on her lap while she read me a story and I said, "I can read that" and proceeded to do so.  I don't remember that incident, but I've never accused her of lying - I think both things happened.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:24:26 PM PDT

  •  My learning to read involved tears and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, 714day, michelewln

    immense frustration, until I was diagnosed with severe dyslexia. After many tests and a pair of violet tinted glasses later the world of letters finally became less frightening.

    Now it's still !hieroglyphics" but at least they are in focus and every shape has a  meaning.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:57:43 PM PDT

  •  I was a VERY early reader (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, 714day, michelewln

    Or at least that's what my parents told me, and it might be true because I don't remember the moment when the symbols we call the alphabet made sense as words. In my memory, they always did.

    What's for dinner? I'm having a vegetarian - hm, even vegan -- day. Dinner is frozen felafel from one of the many Russian bakeries in Los Angeles with hummus, pita, and roasted garlic salsa. There's a whole section of felafel and filled things like pelmeni and blintzes and pierogi in the freezer compartment of the Armenian-owned supermarket I shop in. Whenever the price of any of them drops to $3.99, I buy some and stash them away in the freezer.

    Seneca Falls, Selma, Stonewall

    by Dave in Northridge on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:58:07 PM PDT

  •  The Bouncing Bear (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, 714day, michelewln

    I learned to read from a little book my Mom bought me when I was about 2 1/2 or so titled "The Bouncing Bear".  It's opening is ingrained upon my soul as indelibly as "Call me Ishmael":

    "This is a bear.
    This is a chair.
    The bear is bouncing on the chair."
    The entire book had maybe a couple dozen different words in it, and my mom wrote each one on an index card and we made a game out of shuffling the words around to make new sentences.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:08:16 PM PDT

  •  I Should Also Mention My Wife's Story (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, 714day, michelewln

    When my wife was little, her dad had a collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs first editions which he kept in a glass cabinet in their living room.  She was fascinated by the exotic illustrations on the covers and longed to open the books herself.  Her Dad laid down a strict rule.  She was not allowed to touch the wonderful books in the special cabinet until she learned how to read.  That gave her a goal to work for, and so she worked at it until she could.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 06:12:19 PM PDT

  •  Once upon a time, when I was four-ish (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ojibwa, 714day, chimene, michelewln

    riding on the freeway to pick up my dad after work one afternoon, my mother pointed to a sign along the road and said "Look! The circus is coming. Would you like to go to the circus?"

    I said "How do you know?"

    She said "That sign that said so."

    And I said "What do you mean, it 'said so'? How can a sign talk? I didn't hear anything."

    So she started whole the story about how all those black squiggles & dots & curls were words, and you could learn to read those words, and know things, and eventually (over the next few days), she finally got to "Pretty much everything anyone has ever known is written down somewhere, and when you can read, you can find it and read it for yourself, and know it, without having to ask anybody".

    What an insanely great idea!

    I totally blew off the circus. I was completely taken with this whole "reading" thing, and made a pest of myself until she got out her childhood copy of a "Dick & Jane" book, and started going through it with me.

    Reality has a well-known liberal bias -- Stephen Colbert

    by ItsaMathJoke on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 07:17:15 PM PDT

  •  Early (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I can't remember ever not reading. I imagine it was my Dad who taught me. My main memory of reading was discovering the Science Fiction section of my library when I was about eight years old and loving it. I still read science fiction/fantasy to this day.

    "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." Oscar Wilde

    by michelewln on Wed Jul 24, 2013 at 01:19:53 PM PDT

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