Spelling trouble

Robroy was at his son’s 2nd grade parent-teacher conference this week.  The teacher said she was concerned about my little guy’s spelling.  It reminded me of my own challenges in 2nd grade, back at Oak Grove Elementary, in Libertyville, Illinois.

Our class was doing a newsletter.  I was assigned the role of interviewing Mr. Garland, the 4th grade math teacher.  It was my first foray into the world of journalism, and I took it seriously.  Sitting down with Mr. Garland, pencil ready, I asked my first question:

“Do you like teaching?”

“Certainly,” he replied.

Certainly?  Certainly?  I tried to sound out the word.  S-I-R-T …  That was part of it, but it looked wrong, so I erased it and tried again.  I knew another word for it — certainly I did.  But certainly he said and certainly it would have to be.  Head down, I worked at it, erasing and rewriting.  I don’t think I asked another question.

Years later, I still interview teachers and leaders.  (Here’s one with Baltimore’s Google Czar)  And it looks my boy is upholding the great family spelling tradition.

His teacher seemed surprised to see me smiling at a time like this.  “Is everything all right?” she asked.

“Certainly,” I said.

With a C.

(Check out my column in the Baltimore Business Journal.)

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