reading right

April 23, 2012


Yesterday was a pretty eventful school day, all things considered. A school-wide photo being taken for the presidential library, for one. And a visit from the mayor, in honor of Earth Day, for another. Considering our area’s significant weakness in the area of environmental stewardship, it was really rather impressive to have tons of media coverage here surrounding the reading of a picture book about local trash issues. Doing my own bit of media coverage, photographically, I was a bit distracted by my job at the time. So today, back in the building in which we held the reading, I actually looked at some of the posters newly up for display while in between classes. I had been staring at one, with some confusion, for some time, when I had a moment of embarrassed realization: it illustrated the planting of a tree, with a series of cartoon drawings and captions. Not being able to read the language, I was trying to figure it out by the pictures and finally realized the source of my confusion. It hadn’t occurred to me that “reading” an illustration would be the same as reading text, requiring me to work backwards from my natural inclination. I had to look at the pictures from right to left. And with multiple rows of drawings, I was for a moment wondering if I needed to look from bottom to top as well . . . thankfully, no, so I didn’t get irreversibly discombobulated :-)

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