I was flunking at jr. high school, mostly because I couldn't read very quickly and my retention was low. I also was living in an abusive home, which made school life very difficult as well. Mr. Humphrey saw me struggling, and set me up to spend time in a reading lab. Using the equipment they had at the time, I learned to read more quickly, to scan the pages, to search for content and meaning. In a short time, I doubled my reading speed and my retention greatly improved.
Then, Mr. Humphrey gave me a book to read: Escape from Colditz. In it, through the pages of how WWII officers survived under harsh conditions in a German prisoner-of-war camp and how they constantly searched for ways to escape their situation, I learned how to escape the harshness of my life and find better ways to cope. I needed this desperately. Mostly, though, I learned a love of reading, which has served me well throughout school, college, graduate school, and beyond.
Thank you, Mr. Humphrey. You saw something worthwhile in that ugly ignorant sorry young girl, and helped her bloom to the wonderful person she is today. What I would shout from the rooftops if I knew you were alive and in the vicinity: YOU DID MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Thank you for that!
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