As a youngster, I loved reading. I read books with the ferocity of a jungle cat, prowling the library and pouncing on books that struck my fancy. At Lincoln Trail Elementary, we had a program called Accelerated Reader, in which you would pick out a book from the library and be tested over it on the computer once you had finished reading. This became a favorite pastime of mine. I would test daily, sometimes multiple times daily, reading a book at school and then grabbing another to carry home and save for the following day.
My ravenous reading began before school, though. My mother tells me that once I learned how, I read everything I could get my tiny hands on. My personal favorites, though, were the books penned by the talented Dr. Seuss. His mastery of rhyming made me practically giddy, and I collected his books fanatically. My mother would sit and read them with me every night before bed.
But one night, I decided to read to her.
“Go on, pick a book to read,” my mother told me. I walked over to the little white shelves that housed my assortment of books. Scanning over the titles, I found my favorite one. I removed it from its other literary brethren and proceeded to walk back to the bed, where my mother lay. Next to my small bed, a nightstand held up my little white lamp, its bulb warmly lighting the room with a slightly yellow-tinted glow.
Upon seeing the book in my hands, my mother’...
... middle of paper ...
...ouldn’t exactly win, but it was a game nonetheless: I would yell out something to draw and then everyone would draw it. That simple.
I explained how to play to them and off we went.
“Draw a… cat!” I yelled, and we scribbled in our notebooks. Mine came out looking like a misshapen potato, and Mom’s looked like a passable cat, but my uncle’s was the best I had ever seen.
No matter what I called out—be it a pterodactyl, or a bicycle, or Godzilla—and no matter how hard I tried to match my uncle’s artistic prowess, the pencil in my seven-year-old hands couldn’t create such fine works of art as his.
So, I kept drawing.
I guess little moments like these have fueled my passion for just wanting to pick up a pencil and write (and draw) and read until my eyes give out. Being exposed to these things so early as a child set me up for an easier time in school than most.
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