A Bit About Me

One may as well begin at the start.

“You are who you are. Now isn’t that pleasant?” – Dr Seuss

As a child, I had the most astounding ideas.  However, I was once a little wrong about something. I didn’t know what phonics were, but I knew how to pronounce (by sound) almost every letter in the alphabet and that alphabet letters joined together create words.  The ‘k’ and ‘q’ were two brutes I doggedly avoided because they relentlessly warped my mind — couldn’t naturally take them on and couldn’t tell them apart, so I logically resolved renaming them el-tuck and del-kit.  [Don’t ask. Quite simply, that’s the distinguishable sound such letters registered in one’s mind.] But, following through with an astoundingly brilliant idea, I had carefully crafted an impressive list of words using the alphabet letters.  Except, to my greatest dismay my big sister, Greta, in appraising the handiwork, asserted that those words did not exist.  “Yes, they do, I wrote them down!” I contested. My sister authoritatively restated, “there are absolutely no such words;” — which (of course) made absolutely no sense since I already had the words existing on paper in my hand and clearly showing them to her.  Greta said, “Okay, if they’re real words, then why don’t you tell me what they are.” And, valiantly I did.  To her (and everyone’s) surprise and shock, I rattled off the entire list. That was so easy. Let’s face it, I knew lots of things.

When my older siblings had schoolwork/homework, I was accustomed to getting in their midst to share the irresistible treasury of books.  At 3.75 years old, I knew how to imitate reading storybooks by reciting passages and pointing to match corresponding words on the page.  [That’s exactly the age at which I was enrolled in kindergarten — after ‘kicking-up’ a good tantrum at the school (mom said); they could not separate me from my brother who was unfairly 5 years old and starting school that day. Initially, the school allowed me to stay for a 1-week trial, thereafter permitted my enrollment because I was … perhaps impressively adorable. That’s another revealing story. But, keeping in pace with my siblings, that was the spark of my fascination beyond the alphabet, with words worth reading and writing.]  Everyone learned how to read, write, and do math at home. My only pressing problem and frustration was that I did not yet know the meaning of every word in the whole world. That’s why I needed my bigger sister’s help.

What I wanted — all I needed, was some assistance to find the meaning of my words; that’s all.  Every word has a meaning; even I, knew that.  I emphasized that fact to Greta: the only one problem requiring her aid, was to find the meaning of each word — not to find the existence, nor the pronunciation of the words.  Please, help me to find only the parts I did not know!  Still, I think my sister didn’t understand.

Greta was usually patient and kind, but quickly gave up trying to help me sort things out, because (it’s not real if) my words were not in the dictionary (she declared). Therefore, I insisted that maybe the people forgot to write down these words in the dictionary and/or maybe that dictionary-book couldn’t hold any more; perhaps she could find a bigger dictionary which (obviously) would have more words and everything else the smaller dictionary-book was missing.  I was desperate.  But, I didn’t yet know how to read and understand a dictionary all by myself; there were no pictures in our dictionary-book at home to help me with matching a word-meaning to anything!  In the first place, why did people halfwittedly write books without pictures in them anyway?

And, if every word in existence was written in the dictionary, then how is it that we had storybooks with additional words and nice pictures?  Horrified to imagine — what if the only books in the world were dictionaries!  No pictures, no adventure stories, all would be doltishly boring and yucky.  I knew Greta’s answers were wrong, even though I did not yet know the correct answer to my dilemma.  Maybe Greta was too tired — because I suggested that perhaps we could write these missing words into the dictionary, but she wasn’t willing to help fix that problem either.  No matter how much I explained everything, argued, begged, then cried, Greta didn’t care to receive any more of my reasoning, nor to take in my hopelessly sad face pleading with her.  My big sister issued me her signature brush-off, with batting hands flung exhaustively [and it wasn’t merely the brush-off or the special way she tossed her head with additionally disgusted frown to top it off, that broke my heart. It was the absolute final dismissal] when she reproachfully exclaimed, “just move from me!”  Furthermore, Greta unyieldingly announced that my spelling words (the entire list!) were “all a bunch of gibberish” — conversation was over!  I cried a lot — about everything and anything I couldn’t figure out.  And, no one understood the language of my questions.

Thankfully, advancing at school, later I learned about vowels and other special ingredients in words — so, maybe my words, Ympmn, Utylur, Sndymhur,… were somewhat wrong – at the time, for the English language.  And, that’s when I also wondered that maybe my kind, patient, loving sister, probably did not know about all the special rules with words yet, either.  Eventually, when I was 8 years old I knew mostly everything. By then I was dauntless — whatever was unfavorable, I questioned or challenged until matters subjectively aligned with my common sense.

My family still laugh that I was a curiously strange little one. I was always creatively troubleshooting — which relatively, can mean numbers of things — depending on who you ask regarding a bit about me.  My transformation to becoming an exceptionally strong reader, a disturbingly creative writer and an unbelievably analytical thinker, did not come easily.  Now, this is actually quite funny — no one was able to decipher that I had created a list of passwords for the internet (ahead of the times), decades ago when I was merely a tot.  It’s a bit unfortunate that my siblings only remember a handful of my pass-words. So, who’s laughing now?

Basically, that’s the scoop on me, about my passion with writing and preoccupation with accounting for things.  If any details unaccounted for, it’s because this page isn’t long enough to round off all the math.

“I suppose I shall have to live now.” E.M. Forster, A Room with a View