I could remember it like it was yesterday in the dimmed classroom on a quiet evening. My teacher had a parent-teacher meeting with every student and their parents to discuss about grades and progress in class. It just so happened to be the day for my meeting with the teacher. I just came home a couple hours ago from school and my mom tells me to hurry up to the car to go to the conference. I was really nervous because I didn’t know what my teacher was going to tell my mother, so I took a deep breath and hurried to the car. Once we arrived at the school it was very calm and quiet since there were only a couple people on campus. We entered the classroom and my teacher greeted my mother and I. She sat down and quickly stated to my mother “Daniel is a genius at math.” My teacher saying that really made me feel confident about my math abilities, and I was sure I was a bright student that would make his parents proud. Then suddenly my teacher tells my mother “but sadly his reading needs to really improve”, then I went from feeling like the smartest person in class to feeling like one of the dumbest students in the class. I could feel the fear and shame running throughout my veins as I awaited my mother’s reaction. As the conference between my mom and my teacher finished up, I said goodbye to my teacher and headed to the car. Once my mother enters the car she told me how proud of my math skills she was, but not my reading skills. She asked me “why can’t you read? Do you not know English?” As we went home the only noises I heard were the sounds of the engine and turn signals. I was actually more worried about my father than my mother because he is the strictest out of the two. As I got out the car and approach the front door I took a deep breath and twist the handle clockwise and enter.
As I walk through the hallway towards the living room I hear the television and my father sitting down with his feet up after a long day of work. He looks at me and asks me how I am doing in school, I shamefully provide no response as I await my mother to give him the report card and explain what my teacher said. Once my mother explained what happened, my father told me to sit on the couch and he basically told me a lecture on why I need to get better at reading and suggested I read some books I had absolutely no interest in. I was immediately sent upstairs to read these books. While I skimmed through them page by page I felt no passion at all for reading. I closed the book put it aside, turned on my television, and watched the sports channel. Sports were a real passion for me. It’s all I ever wanted to do growing up. For my parents on the other hand sports was just a so called “waste of time’ and that I should read a book instead. It frustrated with me because they are limiting my enjoyment and passions for their own good.
Days passed and I still haven’t picked up any of the books my father told me to read. So now I have to go to school and once I get to my English class in school my teacher took us to the school library to check out a novel. I took a deep breath of frustration and boredom then I proceeded with the class to the library. The story we were checking out was titled “Where The Red Fern Grows”, it seemed very uninteresting to me by the title, but my mind was split into not even bothering to read it because it would be like every other uninteresting book I tried to read and the other side of my mind was split into the cliché saying “don’t judge a book by it’s cover.” So when we returned to class and we started reading the book, it was about this guy who raised these dogs and decided to enter a sled racing competition with them. For me personally it grabbed my interest because my parents recently bought me a dog of my own and it really made me interested in dogs. So our class read chapter after chapter, page after page together. I was instantly hooked to the story and whenever my teacher said that we were reading it today I instantly felt a jolt of excitement and anxiousness in my body. I would have never thought that I would ever respond like this to a novel. It was an amazing feeling and the ending of the book was very emotional in terms of the plot and that the story ended. That book is still one of my all-time favorites. It really changed everything for me in terms of reading.
Finally I started reading and getting into other novels and books. Currently I am reading about conspiracies and philosophical stories. They really grab my interest as a reader and make me wonder while also keeping my mind open to other possibilities. This goes to prove that one book can change your whole stance on reading. It opened up and sparked an interest in me I never thought possible, so never let other reading experiences dictate future ones. The past is the past and the future is still yet to be read.