Roadie with Kendra and her grandmother in 11 hours. I don’t even have words.
I came to America when I was seven years old, and I did not speak a word of English; Dr. Seuss books helped me learn to read. Once I could read, the letters and numbers were playing peek-a-boo with my eyes: they moved around, switched positions and flipped around the page, so naturally I continued to struggle.
In the fifth grade, I wrote a book report on a biography about 80’s pop singer Debbie Gibson, and I recycled the same book report in 6th grade to avoid having to read a new book. I tried passing it off once again in the 7th grade, but my teacher, Mrs. Wright, handed it back telling me she expected more from me. I tried to negotiate writing a report on elevator buttons, but Mrs. Wright would have none of my nonsense: she was adamant that I was to read a proper book and turn in a report by the end of the semester.
After our conversation, I visited the school library and selected Les Miserables, and although I struggled with it, (Cliff Notes helped) I eventually finished it. Because of Mrs. Wright’s encouragement, I also went on to read Crime and Punishment, Welcome to the Monkey House, and The Count of Monte Cristo.
Mrs. Wright and I have remained in touch all these years, and today I want tell her, “thank you for not accepting that recycled book report. Mrs. Wright - you are one of a few teachers who have made a difference in my life.”
Seattle, Washington - February 2014