I recently enjoyed reading again about the illustrious and industrious Jean Louis Bullfinch (a.k.a. Scout) in To Kill a Mockingbird by Pulitzer Prize Winner Harper Lee and thought some of you would find the following exchange between Scout and her teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher, poignant:
“…as I read the alphabet, a faint line appeared between her eyebrows, and after making me read most of My First Reader and the stock-market quotations from The Mobile Register aloud, she discovered that I was literate and looked at me with more than faint distaste. Miss Caroline told me to tell my father not to teach me any more, as it would interfere with my reading…
“Teach me?” I said in surprise. “He hasn’t taught me anything, Miss Caroline. Atticus ain’t got time to teach me…”
“…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…”
Here’s to all the Scouts out there…and all the talented and thoughtful teachers who smile upon them, engage them and support them to fly.