well sure i can read. i just can’t capitalize when i write. or i don’t. i’m not supposed to be able to read though. a recent post of mine opened a flashback floodgate. even before my miniature self began chanting “i’m number one,” one of my elementary school’s non-teacher personnel labeled me. think early kindergarten king. much smaller, still the same sized head. the king had coordination issues and apparently didn’t pass a military boot camp style obstacle course test (read: balance beam). the prevailing wisdom of the day was that if a child couldn’t walk a balance beam, said child would have reading comprehension issues and perhaps not be able to read at all. ever.
so the non-teacher personnel placed me in an additional “class” for some extra help. fortunately, the king’s folks had some sense about them and pulled me out after one day. it turns out that not only can i read now, but reading comprehension was never, and the king means never, an issue. this isn’t a story about how my parents worked with me tirelessly to avoid a label or how somehow i got lucky. this is a story of a flawed system. not once in the non-teacher personnel’s evaluation of future reading prowess did the present ability to read factor into the analysis. no one ever asked if i could read, which to me (also a non-teacher) would seem to be an important question. i could read – relatively well for a five year old that couldn’t walk the balance beam. nobody asked.
the king isn’t exactly a spring chicken and this was indeed a very long time ago. but, the king’s progeny, princess eldest, had similar coordination issues. when she was about eighteen months old (really not that long ago – kinda) she was in physical therapy because she wasn’t walking. the pt admonished the QoF that: balance beam = reading comprehension. QoF: recites story above. pt: “just think of where he’d be had someone worked with him.” again no questions*. just assumptions based on broken systems. end result = new pt, new methods, way better results. princess eldest, also pretty good with the words and whatnot.
ask great questions. don’t let anyone, including but not limited to yourself, label you into a corner. the kids in that extra “class,” for the most part didn’t end up doing so hot in life. it stands to reason that if an initial evaluation is incorrect, that future evaluations predicated on the fallacious original evaluation will always lead to the same goofball result. bad systems and misinformation rarely produce quality results. this is not a call to rage against the machine. but, always ask questions. if a system does not produce the desired results – change it or avoid it. this applies to your finances. if how you handle money isn’t working, change the system. ask some great questions, challenge conventional wisdom & do not take financial advice from people who are not winning with money or you will spend countless hours on the balance beam.
* a good question might have been, has your husband ever passed a two-day examination based almost exclusively on reading comprehension encompassing three years of post-graduate study? i wouldn’t expect somebody to lead with that, but even a game of twenty questions coulda got somebody there.