[LMB] OT: How Did You Learn to Read?

Eric Oppen ravenclaweric at gmail.com
Sat Oct 14 20:12:28 BST 2017

I got started on reading about at age 3 or so.  I'd see a commercial for
"All" brand soap and learned what "All" meant.  Then I'd see the word
"ball" and go: "All!  All!  (pointing to B) Dis-dis-dis-dis?"  My mother,
an ex-teacher, helped me with letters I didn't know, and I was off and
running.  She was _very_ startled at how much and how well I could read at
a young age, though.

Once when I was about five or so, we were downtown and there was some sort
of fundraiser going on, with a big sign up saying "Give Enough!"  I pointed
to it and said:  "Look Mommy!  It says 'Give Enough!'"  Mom was gobsmacked;
she told me later that she'd had high school students who had trouble with
the "ough" words, and here I was able to handle them, no problem.  She
carefully did _not_ call my attention to the fact that other kids my age
could not read, so there was no trouble on _that_ front for quite a while.
I got along fine with most of my contemporaries until the "ball games, ball
games _ueber alles_" thing came between us---I've got a defect in my vision
that makes ball games a non-starter for me.

I can remember the _exact_ instant I got sick and tired of bloody Dick,
Jane and Sally.   We were in first grade, reading from those books, and all
of a sudden I had had _e-nough!_  My teacher saw that something was wrong,
but I was still kind of young to explain just _what._   My teachers never
gave me trouble over being able to read far ahead of my age-mates, but part
of _that_ might have been that they knew my mom had been a teacher herself
for years, and feared no teacher, administrator or principal on Earth.  If
one of them had tried the sort of thing that teacher did in _To Kill a
Mockingbird,_ there'd have been Trouble in River City.

On Sat, Oct 14, 2017 at 12:56 PM, Karen Hunt <huntkc at gmail.com> wrote:

> > > On 14 Oct 2017, at 23:38, Carol Botteron <cjbotteron at gmail.com> wrote:
> > > Since the list is a bit slow ... how did you learn to read? Most of the
> > > following is what people told me when I was older. Not trying to brag,
> > just
> > > hoping some of you will be amused and/or have better stories.
> >
> I'm not going to look quite so brilliant as some others on the list....
> I didn't speak till I was 2 and I wasn't that quick afterwards, either. By
> 3-ish I could speak reasonably well, and we moved to Japan. So I was still
> in the early-very-fast-learning stage of speaking and I quickly learned
> Japanese and couldn't figure out how come my mother was always asking me to
> tell me what others were saying.
> But reading? Not till kindergarten. I was too much into the tomboy routine
> and preferred to play war with the boys than do indoor stuff. Most of the
> pictures of me from that time period show me with a black eye from one
> accident or another. (poor depth perception, as it turns out).
> Various levels of trans-ness runs in the females in my family, and so does
> a certain amount of slow-to-talk that's probably somewhere on the autism
> scale.
> Karen Hunt
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