Family Literacy Month
A few moments ago, I thought about a friend of mine from Junior High School. Wilfred hated his name. But, he sure loved to read. He hated school. But he sure loved to read. He got in trouble a lot at school because he didn't pay attention. Nine times out of ten, he was taking a sneak peak at a comic book or some other reading material in his desk. School was boring for him. Some of his reading was beyond my comprehension. I really admired him. I loved to read too. But, I could not keep up with him. Being so brilliant, it was hard for him to fit in.
I remember one time in class, the teacher gave us an assignment: "If you could have your dearest wish come true, what would it be?" We were supposed to write a fifteen minute composition about it in class and hand it in. Maybe she needed a few minutes of quiet. Maybe we did. Within a few seconds, Wilfred got up, walked to the teacher's desk and put his paper on her desk. He was done. I couldn't believe it. Many pencils in class hung in mid air along with some chins.
The teacher, staring darts at Wilfred, picked up the paper and sarcastically read it out loud. "I wish I could spend the rest of my life just reading!"
A few snickers ensued. Wilfred just sat. Teacher began her tirade. "Wilfred! MY WISH is that you would just spend your time doing your school work and behaving yourself!"
Wilfred got up from his desk and prepared to leave the room. He'd had enough. Teacher had had enough, too. SIT DOWN!
Wilfred proceed up the aisle directly toward her. She proceeded directly down the aisle toward him. She wasn't afraid of this gangly overgrown surly teenager. She actually pushed him backwards. Or tried to, I should say. That was when Wilfred pushed her back. Had the desk of a student not been right there behind her, she would have fallen.
Now, I didn't condone this kind of behavior, and still don't. But, I was shocked. How could he dare to do such a thing? Wilfred showed his total lack of respect for authority, and I lost my respect for Wilfred that day.
Many years later, I learned that Wilfred had committed a crime and gone to prison. Well, what would one expect from a trouble maker? Ironically, Wilfred spent a great deal of time in solitary confinement. He was not stupid. I'm sure he knew how to keep out of solitary confinement, or maybe it was part of making his wish come true. No one to bother him, and spend all his time reading books.
Wilfred was lucky that he had the gift of being able to read. It's too bad he never became a teacher, himself. Can you imagine passing that gift on to others?
Here are a few places where I love to get books at very reasonable prices:
Better World Books
Amazon Bargain Books
Paper Back Swap
This last one, by the way, the books are free. All you have to do is pay for postage, usually less than four dollars.
I'm not sure if any of these ship outside the US. If you have a favorite place where you obtain your books, make a comment to let others know.
Posted by Elizabeth Munroz