Yes, my spelling and grammar sucks, and I wish it didn't.

When I first began writing "Meanwhile" back in the 90s, spelling and grammar checkers could do little to catch my repeated offenses in the written word. Despite my proofreading, I was often blind to many of the errors an article would include. In the 2020 redesign of the site, I attempted to address some of those errors by running a modern spelling and grammar check across the entire site. However, I suspect some errors still slipped through the net.

ITA disasterMore than a decade after I wrote the final "Meanwhile" article in 2007, I learned that I have dyslexia. The condition was never diagnosed when I was at school; indeed, the British government didn't formally recognize the condition until 1987.

In my early school years, I learned a 44-character alternative alphabet called the Initial Teaching Alphabet (ITA). As my class entered third grade, ITA was discontinued, and I struggled, with little help, to adjust to the regular alphabet.

ITA did nothing to help my dyslexia, and in practice, very likely disadvantaged my reading. However, over the years, I developed a myriad of techniques to deal with my mild dyslexia, and I don't think the condition ever held me back in any way.

In truth, I wasn't aware I even had dyslexia until a friend in the California Department of Education suggested I might have it. As an Education Specialist with extensive experience in learning disabilities, including dyslexia, she told me in 2018 that she had long suspected I was dyslexic.

Regardless of the condition, I've always loved writing. The craft of putting sentences together isn't always an easy one, but when the words flow and the sentences come together, the reward is immense, no matter how many or few people read it.

When people would ask me who I read, I was always somewhat embarrassed to confess that I've never been much of a reader of books. I'm a slow reader, and when I tried adopting that habit, I would often forget to move my bookmark. The next time I would pick up the book, I would read the same chapter over again, only realizing my oversight pages into the re-read.

A page filled with text is a daunting sight for me even now. I often found that I would go through the motions of reading but not actually retain much of what I had read. In the end, I found that reading aloud somehow addressed my forgetfulness of the written word.

As a voracious consumer of podcasts, it seemed that I was able to easily digest the spoken word, even when I was the one speaking words from a page in front of me. It felt strange to be sitting alone in my bathtub at night, reading aloud with all the pauses and inflections of an audiobook reader, but it worked.

Back when I was regularly writing "Meanwhile," I would sometimes run it by my friend Anne Metz (now Anne Bajema). An educator specializing in literacy, Anne was my unofficial editor of sorts, and we would often have long arguments about sentence structure. We would discuss punctuation, and her favorite gripe in my writing, run-on sentences; a concept I still don't completely understand.

I didn't always take her advice, but those discussions helped me become a better writer. I should point out though that Anne is in no way responsible for the abysmal spelling and grammar gaffes, of which there were many. She would point them out to me, but it's fair to say that I was less than diligent in addressing those issues once I had published the article online.

The site remained unchanged for many years after I wrote the final article in 2007. The 2020 redesign fixed a few errors, and more could be fixed. It's not a priority though because few people, if anyone, visits this site anymore. However, if you've seen a glaring error and you want to tell me about it, then I would appreciate that as an act of kindness, so feel free to contact me.