I hate English. I’d like to think it has something to do with the great potato famine, but in truth, it’s because I have little aptitude for understanding or applying its proper usage. Awkwardness and random punctuation are hallmarks of my written expression. At times I feel like I’m disabled because I read at 33 and 1/3 while everyone else is at 78. I’d add an explanation for the numbers, but I hate young people and they’re provably googling it now anyway.
My journey into functional illiteracy began at an early age. I went through the motions at school reading what I could, but never had a chance to catch those who read more than their height in grade 4. My reading was frequently deemed a “U” for unsatisfactory on report cards. In grade 6 I was diagnosed with a grade 3 reading level, and the remedy prescribed was to read “until it killed me”. Unfortunately, I still read at 33 and 1/3, and when I flick on the TV, click the guide and program, I have to sit through 2-3 cycles of tombstone information so I can read the synopsis of an episode. In school to pass from grade to grade, I had to rely on my memory as I didn’t have a hope in hell of reading anything twice.
The irony is I mostly read and write for a living now. Much of it is procedural, with concrete subjects and requirements to follow laws of the physical world. Sadly I’ll never be able to appreciate great prose….the shades of leaves serpentining to the ground in great heaps under the old oak where grandma sat to draw her last breath… before reporting for work at Walmart.
My short musings shared with you in Tales from Lacombe are stepping stones to assist in my quest to one day write longer works to expose shortcomings of education in Alberta in the 1960’s and 70’s. I hope to then find an ambulance chaser amongst my readership to help mount a class action suit so I, and similarly affected, can retire on fat stacks of cash, which are now seemingly available for the asking.