Reading time ( words)
I was eight years old; it was early in the school year, and I was attending a new school. My family had just moved across town—just a couple miles, but enough to change my world. I was still learning the names of my classmates and mapping out the school in my head. One day in my physical education class, Mr. Denley, the PE teacher, administered eye exams to the class. One after the other, kids toed the line, covered an eye with one hand, and mimicked the rotated “Es” on the eye chart with the fingers of their other hand. Then, it was my turn.
Oddly enough, those “Es” weren’t very readable from the “line of truth.” I knew I couldn’t make out the chart from the back of the huddle of kids, but I had expected things would be clearer once I had a proper view. The unpleasant surprise grew into a minor grade school panic. I was mortified. Why couldn’t I read the eye chart? Every kid in my class watched me struggle with incorrect guesses and saw me fail.
I said nothing to my parents; I just tried to forget that it ever happened. They never said anything, so I thought I had gotten away with it. However, a few days later, Mom pulled me out of school early. We drove to the local university and met some really cool college students who, I learned, were studying to be optometrists. They had me look through some weird machines and try on ugly glasses that they built up for me by putting a bunch of lenses together in a clamp. Those glasses weighed a ton! Next, Mom took me to a different room, and we played with the eyeglass frames that were displayed on the wall. Then, we went home.
To read this entire column, which appeared in the November 2019 issue of PCB007 Magazine, click here.