Middle row, third from the left.
Yvon went to some school in Queens. I went to PS 110. We both can read and write, but I can't spell. Sometimes I can add. Subtraction, a bit more iffy.
Hanging out one windy afternoon on the benches by St. Marks Church, him sick of everyone on the MTA, me sick of my writing block, and both of us sick of his smoking, we started chatting with the occupant on the next bench over.
She went from school to school, teaching teachers to teach which meant kids were being taught. When did learning become fun?, I wondered. How come they didn't teach us that way? Why couldn't I go back in time and learn to learn all over again? All I remember was dread and well, more dread.
Except one time.
Mrs. Fass, who lived in the neighborhood, was my first grade teacher. I was out sick the day the first-graders got the first grade readers. Everyone started reading that day. When I came back to school, unable to decipher the words in this new book, I dove straight into misery and got more and more lost. Finally, Mrs. Fass sat with me and, other than the word 'squirrel', unlocked the mystery of reading to me.
For the next week, every day after school ended, I would walk up to Mrs. Fass's desk and thank her for teaching me to read.
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