Monday, October 12, 2009

you may laugh at me

i don't really have anything exciting to write about today but i thought i would share my most embarrassing moment with all of you. i have told this story to some people so if you have heard it before i apologize.

when i was in college i took a course on learning disabilities. the prof, bill, was great and often started class with an activity that would help us feel like we are 'learning disabled'. he had us look in a mirror and trace a picture. it was difficult because it's flipped. he had readings for us where all the bs, ds, ps and qs were mixed up to illustrate what it can be like to be dyslexic. one day he put a bunch of different paragraphs on the overhead and had different people read them outloud. some had the letters mixed up, or the lines all over the place, or words jumbled. others had wrong spellings for each word. we did our best to to get through each one at an alarmingly slow pace. when it came to the last one bill asked for a volunteer to read it. no one wanted to. too many people had been embarrassed by their speed. i finally raised my hand and said i would do it. i decided that the best way to get through it was to go back to the basics. i would read it phonetically. i struggled through the whole paragraph, sounding out each letter. people snickered throughout my attempt, but i didn't mind because i had done the same to those before me. when i finally made it to the end i was relieved. bill looked at me oddly. he just stared. i looked back at the paragraph on the overhead and saw (to my amazement) that it was in perfect English! The look of shock on my face must have been priceless. bill spoke up "well, thank you lael. however the point of that paragraph was to demonstrate how fluent OUR reading is in comparison to that of someone with a learning disability." SHOOT!!!!!!! i wanted to die! thankfully i was in the front row and could not see anyone's expressions behind me. english is not a language where you can rely on phonetics. there are many rules and exceptions. and yet i managed to completely botch it.

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