First Grade Why Can’t I?




 

This is the kind of typewriter I used in Elementary School.
I wrote this when I was in my UCLA Flash Fiction Class. It’s a reflection of my thoughts about learning to write back in first grade.
Today my friends in Miss. Wolf’s class are learning how to write their names.
Something doesn’t feel quite right.
While everyone else is learning to write I’m using an electric typewriter.
               Why? Why aren’t my hands taking flight?
                If I trace the letters on a piece of paper dot to dot they come out perfectly.
    But if I try to write the letters myself I can barely read them.
             Everyone else’s letters come out perfectly. So clear, and clean.
              Why can’t I do the same?
             Why can’t I write my name?
             I’m told I was born with cerebral palsy and that due to lack of oxygen to my brain certain
              parts of my brain were damaged.
            Some things can be learned but some things I’ll never be able to do.
           Handwriting seems simple. Why aren’t my hands taking flight?
             I have the letter R for Rachael pictured in mind I know how it’s supposed to look.  Getting it down on paper is a struggle.
       You make a straight line down and then I a loop around and then another line down.
              Maybe I’ll learn to write like my friends someday.
              Until then, I’ll just look down at the tiny rectangle screen and peck slowly at the keyboard with one finger. I guess I’ll continue on in physical and occupational therapy and learn what I can learn.Still, I dream of the day when my hands might take flight.Why? Why can’t I write?
 

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