Learning about Learning
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
If you’ve started reading my blogs, by now you are wondering, why is Bob writing about what he can remember of his life? If this were a biography at the library or the bookstore, I surely wouldn’t check it out or spend good money on it.
That’s perfectly OK, because this (these) blog(s) aren’t to make money or make me famous (infamous, perhaps), but because I’m trying to discover what caused my depression. Why I went from a pretty laid back, happy person to a tense, paranoid person who has to work at finding the good points in my life.
So, you see, it’s all about me.
If you’re interested in walking along this journey and finding what I find, you’re welcome to come. A little company never hurt anyone and you may see some things I miss. If you do, I ask you sincerely to butt in. Go ahead, put in your two cents worth. I probably won’t give change, but I’ll certainly take it under advisement.
OK, where was I? That’s right; we were in South San Gabriel, school number two. It was here that I really began to learn about learning. My Dad’s mother (the big Policeman had told us it was OK to call him Dad when we asked) baby sat us when my mom took a job to help with the down payment on a house, was a great proponent of learning to read so you could read to learn. She had learned in her life that you could lose almost anything you possessed, but if you kept what you learned you could eventually move back up – even possibly go farther ahead then you had been if you worked at it.
In more than one aspect, she had some strange thoughts. I was in first grade, learning to read in the conventional way (sight reading), but she insisted I learned the sounds the letters made and to learn new words by reading the letter combinations and sounding them out. Whoa. That was radical thinking, even for the left coast, back in those days.
It caused three things to happen. One, I learned to read faster than my contemporaries, which pleased the teachers and got me praise and attention from them. Two, it made some of my peers angry, especially the guys, and I was made fun of as a “teacher’s pet”. Finally, number three, I found myself spending a lot of class time with girls – they learned faster and found that having a guy in their group was definitely different. Different because my point (no pun intended) of view was often quite different from theirs.
What they didn’t like is that I had a competitive streak, so I constantly outdid them. Some of the girls acted as if I was some freak from outer space, but some were OK with me showing how smart I was – probably because I didn’t make a big deal about it.
OK, that was the end of first grade, and during the summer we moved to the community of Arcadia. My brother and I noticed that our Dad no longer brought his motorcycle home, but he still brought his gun home.
At the beginning of the school year, second grade, I started attending school at my third school.