says my name’s really Jean Louise Bullfinch, that I got swapped when I was born and I’m really a-” (15) Miss Caroline apparently thought I was lying. “Let’s not let our imaginations run away with us, dear,” she said. “Now you tell your father not to teach you any more. It’s best to begin reading with a fresh mind. You tell him I’ll take over from here and try to undo the damage-” “Ma’am?” “Your father does not know how to teach. You can have a seat now.” “I mumbled that I was sorry and retired meditating upon my crime. I never deliberately learned to read, but somehow I had been wallowing illicitly in the daily papers. In the long hours of church-was it then I learned? I could not remember not being able to read hymns. Now that I was compelled to think about it, reading was something that just came to me, as learning to fasten the seat of my union suit without looking around, or achieving two bows from a snarl of shoelaces. I could not remember when the lines above Atticus’s moving finger separated into words, but I had stared at them al the evenings in my memory, listening to the news of the day, Bills to Be Enacted into Laws, the diaries of Lorenzo Dow- anything Atticus happened to be reading when I crawled into his lap every night. Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing. I knew I had annoyed Miss Caroline, so I let well enough alone and stared out the window until recess when Jem cut me from the covey of first-graders in the schoolyard. He asked me how I was getting along. I told him. “If I didn’t have to stay I’d leave. Jem, that damn lady says Atticus’s been teaching me to read and for him to stop it-” “Don’t worry, Scout,” Jem comforted me. “Our teacher says Miss Caroline’s introducing a new way of teaching. She learned about it in college. It’ll be in all the grades soon. You don’t have to learn much out of book that way- it’s like if you wanta study cows I-” “Yeah Jem, but I don’t wanta study cows, I-” “Sure you do. You hafta know about cows, they’re a big part of life in Maycomb County.” I contented myself with asking Jem if he’d lost his mind. “I’m just trying to tell you the new way they’re teachin’ the first grade, stubborn. It’s the Dewey Decimal System.” ____
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 4 pages?