My Teacher Shamed Me When I Couldn’t Read. 30 Years Later, I Ran into Him at a Bar


I was 41 years old when I flew back to Texas to visit friends and family. On my way from the airport, my best friend suggested we have a drink at a nearby bar. As my friend and I sat at the bar, I saw someone across the smoke-filled room. It was Mr. Creech, leaning over to buy himself a drink. I rushed over and reached into my pocket to pay for him. “Do I know you?” he asked. “Yes, sir, you do know me,” I answered. “My name is Anthony Hamilton, and I was in your fourth-period class.”The look on his face told me that he remembered the boy he’d once shamed. “I’m so glad I had a chance to see you,” I said. “And Mr. Creech, I have great news to share.” I told him. I had learned to read. But that wasn’t all. I had become a published author and a motivational speaker. I told him I wanted him to do me a favor. He asked what it was. “The next time you get another Anthony Hamilton in your classroom, please teach him how to read.”

The experts say that what once disabled me has a name: dyslexia. I can tell you it was something else as well. It was a lack of craving for an education. That’s far from my life today. My belly now hungers for the verbs and the adjectives, the synonyms and the paragraphs. I write to be the author of my life and for Faith in another sort of Author of my life. If it were not for my Father in Heaven, I would possess no expression. And I write to give back. I write because of the boy in the community college classroom here in Hayward, California, who read my book, for the teacher who put my book on the syllabus and for the people who have read me and tell me, humbling me, that they found some kind of meaning in what I have put down in words.

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Anthony Hamilton is a writer who lives in Hayward, California. He is the author of several books, including The Autobiography of Strong Child and Shattered Lives. source

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