Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. Yes, I know.
I love to read. I haven't always. My mother is a big reader. My dad says the only book he ever read all the way through was Hot Rod, and that was a magazine. I dabbled as a kid. I wanted to love reading. It seemed the sophisticated, cultured thing to do. You know, "I'm a reader?" "Hmmm. Yes, Read any good books lately?" Pretty sure their was a pipe clenched between my teeth there. But the fact was, that I was a tree climbing, fence climbing, dirt clod throwing, wholly unsophisticated tom-boy. But I learned to love reading. The first novel that caught (and Kept) my attention as a kid was Elizabeth George Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Such a great read. It was the first time that I really fell into a story and became part of it. The first turning point in my reading career. Through jr high and high school, I read mostly what was assigned. I enjoyed some, hated others. Sometime in my early twenties I decided to read a few kids books that I had missed out on, and I picked up LM Montgomery and Anne came into my life. That sweet, spunky read-headed imp set me on the path of reading. Thank you Lucy Maude and Anne.
I may have got a slow start in my love of reading, but I have always loved to wRite. I wrote little poems and stories for as long as I can remember. Unfortunately, I shared those sometimes, and my little sister set a very early poem to memory. I am pretty sure she is saving it to blackmail me with someday. I wrote a poem once for a college boyfriend. He read it silently and then looked at me and told me that I spelled "follow" wrong. Hmm. I wonder what ever happened to him? Oh yeah! I don't care!! The problem with writing and not reading is that it is impossible. You can't have one without the other. If you want to write. Read like there is no tomorrow. Don't just read books about writing (although some of those can be useful tools) but read good literature. I said Good literature. Join book clubs, discuss literature with friends and family. Hop on Goodreads. Get a library card! Let's get out there and read us some books so we can see and smell and hear the ins and outs of good writing. Notice what made it good. Dissect what made it work or what didn't. Read, then write.
I am not particularly good at mathematics in general, although I did kick some booty in high school geometry, but my arithmetic is better than this girl...
Let's not laugh at her. Let's not mock or sneer. But rather, gather our children around our knees this evening and explain to them the facts of life so that they don't wind up on YouTube someday.