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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Book Buddy

I sign on as an Ordway School 'book buddy' - a non-teacher non-parent listening to 8th graders read aloud in unthreatening non-judgmental surroundings.

I realise I 'otter' have done this many moons ago.

Our younger daughter attended the excellent Ordway and the memories flood as I walk up to the school:

My fellow buddy booksists were more terrifying than the ordeal ahead: mostly my age, quite a few older in their 60s+.

We waited our orders and duly followed our leader to the first classroom. Twenty mins for each read, then on the next.

I was paired with a darling boy, so soft of voice I couldn't actually hear him clearly. His reading was some space adventure, full of weird names and italicized emphases.

The first thing I noticed was that he skimmed from sentence to sentence, para to para, sans a pause. Next, each time he came across an ital emphasis, his voice would swoop up on the *last* syllable - "Run for IT!" ~ "EmergenCEE!" ~ "CareFUL!".

My next was a delightful girl, very intelligent and fierce to learn who'd invent words - invasion for invention, world for while, stood for strode. With her I was sterner, checking her each time and making her re-read and sort the letters out. We got on fine.

My third was a stunning young lady in whose corporation I will take shares the second I hear she is up for CEO. "Don't tell me", she kept telling me as she wrestled with a word. "OK, what *is* it?" on other occasions.

How come you talk like funny I c'n unnderstand?" she asked about my posh Brit accent. "I like it. I can understand you ... but it's weird. Where you from?"

I left with that glowing feeling that the future is secure in such hands.

How wonderful that you are volunteering at Ordway! What grade are the kids? have fun!
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