I sat there in the hard seat of my desk and waited patiently. The scent of bleach was overwhelming in the room, but I knew by the second week it would be covered up by the smell of musty children and chalk dust. I could not wait for my new teacher to stroll up to me, eyes full of amazement, and give me my paper. I had worked hard on it for nearly a month during the summer before this new school year. My writing skills were top notch, of course. Looking around the room at my new classmates, it was easy to tell who had done the summer assignments, and those who were scrounging around in the back of their minds for a believable excuse as to why they had not produced anything after three months. My patience was wearing thin by this point. I wanted my paper and I wanted to see that glorious 'A' sparkling proudly at the top of the page. Suddenly, she was right in front of me. I glanced up, smiling, trying to make a decent impression. However, her face didn't show what I had expected. Her expression read, at the very best, bored and uninterested. She flipped the paper over and slid it onto my desk, then went on with her rounds. Something inside me fluttered. Experience had told me that when a paper is given face-down, it is not something to be proud of. I reluctantly turned over my essay. I sat there for a while, staring at my paper. Never in my life had I seen so many red marks on a single piece of paper. My eyes slowly moved towards the top of the page, where an angry looking letter 'F' sat. As I slouched in my seat, defeated by such an unworthy grade, I began to re-evaluate myself.
While writing came naturally to me, reading was a different story completely. The first memories I have of reading are painful at best. Reading a simple sentence seemed impossible for me to do. Being the only child in class who couldn't even read the bathroom door signs, I was singled out almost immediately.