Friday, July 28, 2006

I remember feeling bad for Peter.

Grade 8 in small-town Alberta, sitting in class listening to the teacher. She asks me to read aloud from the text. I stand and read, clearly and with good diction. I feel somewhat proud of my reading ability. She asks the person behind me to read, and they do so, and so on down the row. She gets to Peter, the last in the row. He stands to read, and he can barely get the words out. He is sounding out simple words, words like "actual" and "promise". I become very embarrassed for him. Some kids are giggling, but I can't join in. I wonder how he can have got to Grade 8 without being able to read. I want to stand up and read for him. I want to tell the teacher to quit asking him to read, she knows he can barely do it. I do none of these things. I feel bad.

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