Friday, August 23, 2013

Don't Teach Me To Read

I was at a public library this week, browsing movies and picking up "Super Size Me" for my son's health class assignment. Nearby a librarian and a gentleman were having a conversation. He was asking if they had a form of some sort. Not sure for what, but apparently he was asking for help filling it out. It was clear he NEEDED help to fill it out, the librarian answered that they could answer questions and slightly assist but that they could not fill it out for him. They spoke some more of the subject. It seemed that the man may have had a slight mental disability, and then he fully admitted to literacy difficulties.

He spoke of how he had a job with a chain restaurant nearby where he worked in the kitchen, until such time that they tested him on a computer system and he  kept failing the tests. He knew the answers on how to wash dishes properly and handle chicken safely, but you have to be able to fully read, comprehend and work a comupter to do it, which he could not. Seems to me that since his job did not require him to use a computer, someone could have tested him verbally, but that didn't happen and after he failed again they fired him.

Here is where it gets interesting.
The librarian mentioned that this library offers adult literacy classes.
He was polite, but firmly refused. He gave excuse after excuse of why he didn't need it, or want it. he wasn't going to further his education with higher learning so why work on literacy. He wasn't going to go into work with computers so why improve literacy.

My heart broke a little for him. He can not see the value, or isn't willing to work for it.
I don't know his road, I don't know why he doesn't read well, perhaps it is a learning disability, perhaps a childhood trauma, perhaps he is just stubborn. I know not, and I will try to not stand in judgement, but it was hard to not shake my head a little walking away from the conversation.

Free help, free compassion and assistance to get past the issue, so you don't have to ask for help filling out basic forms....and a flat out no.

Okay, at least he knows it is available.

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