…My first-grade teacher was named Patricia Ruoff…I still recall the day she helped me learn the first word I could ever read…and she showed me what the shape of the four letters on the first page meant, and what they sounded like. That one word: “Look.”
I went home so thrilled that day. I knew how to read a word. “Look.” When the day had begun I hadn’t known it, and now I did. Such a magical feeling, accompanied by the sure knowledge that other words would soon follow. […]
it became important to me to find that teacher. It took some doing—it turns out she has been twice widowed, and thus has had two different last names since back then—but I reached a woman on the telephone who I thought might be her.
“I’m sorry if I have the wrong number,” I said. “But I’m looking for a Patricia Ruoff, who once was a schoolteacher.”
“Yes,” the voice said. “You have the right person.”
“You taught me to read,” I said.
I told her my name.
“Oh, Bobby,” she said. […] [Read more…]