invitan: (Akira)
One: How to Write about Animals

One of my first memories involved a pre-school teacher hunting down my four-year-old self all across the Hanoi City Zoo as I ran around squawking aloud every sign on the cages (South-Australian-Ostrichs and Siberian-White-Tigers). During an innocuous dinner years later, my mom tossed me a health magazine article which claimed that children literate before 6 years old were at a higher risk of near-sightedness. I pushed thick pair of glasses up my face.

"What did you expect, mom? You made me spell when I was two!”

"If only you could write as well as you read." Mom was not very subtly taking a jab about the 7/10 grade on my latest effort at school literature - the equivalent of B- in the US elementary education, or in simpler term, an embarrassment on my otherwise perfect record.

It was unfair, because writing was something I could never seem to improve. No matter how warmly purple the feathers of my rooster were in my essay, the only places such a rooster had ever existed were my city-girl mind and the model essay that our puritanical fourth grade educators expected us to cut and paste from.

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