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Monday, May 23, 2011

Thoughts on "You have 10 seconds", "It's His Idea", Hooked on Phonics

I talk pretty fast. If ever I had to be in debate club and count words per minute, I'd feel bad for whoever had to count my speed. And no, this is without coffee - with would be too dangerous.

But that has to do with my mom. She's not someone I would call simple by any means. Not only did she design our house - no, she's not an architect - she also holds a patent for an invention or two. However, my mom likes simplicity. So whenever I would talk to her about something - i.e: Harry Potter, video games, or anything I'm truly interested in - she would look at me and say "You have 10 seconds." Well, ten seconds or until I could tell she wasn't listening because her eyes would glaze over and she would change the subject. And no, I'm not an expert in persuasion or holding people's attention.

My mom started doing this to me when I was around seven or eight. It was her way to get to the point of the story without getting caught up in the middle. She wanted everything straight forward, even if life really isn't cut and dry, black and white.

I hope this caught your attention for more than ten seconds.

After working with a few male supervisors and fifteen males in the percussion section in high school, I've realised several things. And they're certainly helpful when it comes to dealing with my boss.

I have to make sure that he thinks "It's his idea." Yes, I may have come up with the initial concept, but in the grand scheme of things, all he wants is his back patted and being told "good job." I'm sure every feminist out there that reads this would basically object and say that I should take credit where credit is deserved.

But I don't want the credit. I want the job done right the first time. Which is why when talking to my boss and giving him an idea, I have to make him think it's his, even if I told him the entire plan only minutes before. I think it makes him feel more productive in his day.


 My mom really didn't teach me how to read. She actually loathes the past time. But she was determined for me to not hate reading. So when I was little, she would read me anything and everything she could get her hands on; books, magazines, recipes, anything. Mom read me Tom Sawyer, Moby Dick, and The Swiss Family Robinson just to name the classics I can recall.

I spent each day after preschool in her office while she worked, sitting at this old-fashioned desk writing my numbers and letters, playing with toys, coloring, or entertaining myself with her Gameboy. But I could only play after I spent a significant amount of time listening to the Hooked on Phonics tapes. I can't quite remember how much of the tape I had to listen to, I just know that at first, I really hated the idea of listening to the voice drone on about pronunciation. I'd much rather be running around our yard playing with the dogs, and letting my imagination take me wherever I wanted.

Two years later, I'm sitting in the hallway at my elementary school. No, I wasn't some horrible egg, in fact, I was out there for self-study. While my class learned their letters, pronunciation and reading (back when they still taught kids how to read in school) I sat with a book and kept to myself. Twice a week, a teacher's aide would come by and test my reading skills, giving me a random passage to read aloud. They couldn't believe I could read. Out of 30 kids in a class, and one could already read at a second grade level? How strange.

But my love for reading is all owed to my mom; a single mother that hates to read.

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