Here’s a fact I’m 100 percent sure you didn’t know: You’re reading the collected works of the speed reading champion of the Oulunkylä Elementary School, circa 1976.
One day on third grade, each of us had to leave the classroom at some point, sit down with the teacher, and read as much of a book as we could in 60 seconds, out loud. I can’t remember how many words I read, or even what the book was.
It was a speed reading, not comprehension, competition.
But I got farther than anybody else in the school.
I’m just a speedy kind of guy. I do everything fast. Type fast, speak fast, (used to) run fast, skate fast, and I like to think that I think pretty fast, too.
Sometimes, when I’m writing a story, and I know I’ve come up with the hook of the story, the smart little twist, I get so excited about it that I can’t finish my thought. I have to get up and jump up and down, throw a ball against the wall, or run a little. I get all giddy, and my mind is racing – so my body apparently wants to race, too.
All this rambling is just a roundabout way to explain why it’s been so quiet here in the past two weeks. With the Victoria Cup, and the NHL Premiere in Helsinki, my mind’s been racing, and I’ve been playing catch-up. Whatever time I’ve had left over, I’ve been too fired up to do anything constructive with it. Except throw a ball against the wall.
At the end of the school year, as my class was walking to the church for the Christmas mass, my teacher told me that I would be asked to read the gospel in front of the school and that’s why I would have to sit in the front row.
Sure enough, halfway through the ceremony, the priest made a gesture with his hand, and announced to the congregation that I would be reading the Bible. Out loud.
He probably didn’t know that he was dealing with a speed reading champ. And a nervous speed reading champ, too.
I think I broke another record. And I’m sure nobody understood a word.