The Twenty-Year Loan

, , , , , , | Learning | November 29, 2018

(From preschool to third grade, I attend a small private school. It has about 15 students per grade. It is an interesting place. The library is actually the back room of a mobile home — not as creepy as it sounds. One day in third grade, our teacher brings our class to the library to check out books. The books are sorted by grade level, with more than enough to go around for 15 students for each class — especially ours, since we dwindle down to five halfway through the year. I am having a tough time picking out something to read, specifically thinking that all these books are too boring, and wanting something that is more of a challenge, so I march my nine-year-old self over to the area for fifth and sixth graders. The librarian — or at least the woman who was put in charge of organizing this back bedroom — notices me.)

Librarian: “No, those aren’t for your class. They’re too hard.”

Me: *points to the third-grade books* “Those are too easy.”

Librarian: *takes hold of my arm and steers me back to my classmates* “You have to pick one of these.”

(Being so little, I didn’t argue, but even then I thought it was stupid, especially when I had tested into a sixth-grade reading level. The kicker: the school didn’t use computers to check out books at the time this happened. Everything was done by hand. The book I chose that day was missed in their paperwork. I still have it over twenty years later.)

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