It never ceases to amaze me that I learned to read and write. I vividly recall being taught letters by my immigrant grandmother, which was funny since she spoke with a heavy accent. I also recall the illustrated ABC cards that my first grade teacher flashed before the classes in order to help us recognize look and sound. I learned letters from these ersatz Futura letter forms, but I learned how to sound them out from the unambiguous illustrations printed in color. A was for Apple (AHH) but it was also for Acorn and so on. Whatever buttons these cards pushed, they did their job well. But there was a curious disconnect.

While learning our ABCs we were also learning A is for Art and Art did not have to be as realistic as were these illustrations. So, on one hand we were learning two simultaneous languages. The alphabetic one was rigidly-based according to rules, the other was loosely expressive. Of course, if we wanted to learn to draw an apple, it had to be an apple, but if we wanted to experience an apple it could be any circular blob of color. The the bigger the blog the more gold stars (which had to look like stars) we received.

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