Wolverine Was My 4th Grade Tutor
It was the spring of 93’ and I was failing the 4th grade. From the parade of F minuses on my incomplete homework assignments and failed quizzes It was pretty clear I was going be held back a year. However this was no surprise when you looked closer at my life.
My parents got divorced when I was 6yrs old which interrupted my schooling quite drastically. Divorce is messy for those that have dealt with it in any capacity. Adding to that my mother moved us around a lot. Her being a fledgling actress and model our lives were in a constant flux. My 1st grade year I missed six of the total nine months of that school year. From 1st-4th grade I switched back and forth to eight different elementary schools. If it wasn’t for my Uncle giving me a spider-man comic, which I mentioned in a previous story I don’t think I ever would of got over my fear of reading with my dyslexia. So here I was clearly marching towards having to repeat the 4th grade.
Then in stepped my Grandmother. I’m not sure why it was this was particular time she put her foot down and got involved - guess I’ll never know, yet I am forever grateful. My Grandmother was a retired school teacher and she taught me the basics of doing my homework before drawing or playing. But more so than that My Grandmother paid attention enough to know how to reach me. She saw how hooked I was on the X-men cartoon and how much I loved Wolverine. She would take me out after school twice a week to an ice cream shop that sold her favorite diabetic candies while she helped me do my homework. Furthermore she said if I got good grades she would send give me a Wolverine comic every week. One particular time she gave me a Wolverine action figure with retractable claws. The enthusiasm it gave me was the lightning in a bottle! This was a turning point in my educational career. I saw an immediate reward for my efforts which out weighed the boredom of school work. And then soon I fell in love with libraries! It wasn’t enough to just read comics I wanted to learned more and more!
I especially loved reading Encyclopedias since they contained snippets of myths and other interesting stories I wanted to learn without having to read an entire book. The library became my Xavier’s school for gifted children and where I would continually find inspiration for my art and personal comics. In less than two months time I went from an F student clearly looking to repeat the 4th grade to a straight A student winning awards in the Odyssey of the Mind club. It is here where I gained my official nerd status! I loved learning! And while it was the hands of my Grandmother that taught me to buckle down and do my school work it was the claws of Wolverine that hooked me on knowledge and I was never going back!
We all have defining defining moments yet I wouldn't of realized how pivot it was until decades later. This love of libraries and study habits would be my salvation in the years ahead of poverty and trials.
We all have origins of the good and bad things in our life and today it's my heart to reflect on the powerful positive experiences.
Thanks for reading 📖