I remember listening to books with audio recordings on my living room floor. The pages were black and white but took on full colour in my mind. I can still hear the voices of some of the characters. I remember one story was about gratitude and another one was about a young girl who was always in a hurry, in a hurry to nowhere.
I remember climbing a tree in my backyard and resting on a branch with a book open in my lap. Sometimes I would escape into my closet or a crawl space with a book, a flashlight just bright enough to make out the words on the page, and sometimes a snack (depending on how long I planned to stay in there).
I remember making up games on my driveway with whatever equipment I could find in the garage. I used garbage cans for basketball hoops, turned buckets into robots and I remember building a chair out of scrap wood with my sister.
I also remember the anxiety of being called on in class. What if I didn’t know the answer? My motivation to learn was often to avoid not knowing and feeling embarrassed. In elementary school, I tried to raise my hand faster and higher than those of my classmates. I remember writing the longest story in class. I remember reaching over 100 pages. By the 109th page, I had reached a dead end, but luckily, just as I did, the character woke up. The entire story was just a dream! Phew. I kept writing. I remember earning stickers for every book I read and swapping stickers with friends during recess. Learning became more and more of a competition; I accepted the challenge.
I don’t remember much from high school, apart from athletics. Suddenly I was in university feeling the pressure to determine a living. Instead of deciding on a major right away, I kept signing up for courses in literature and eventually education.
I remember standing in front of a room full of students, calling on students. What if I don’t know the answer?
What is your story of learning?
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