Front cover and first lesson from Words Are Important, Second Book (Hardwick 1949). 

Lesson One was particularly memorable. It was the first time we all brought in our own Concise Oxford English Dictionaries, and looked up all the words in the list, and wrote in the definitions during class. I had a battered copy of the Concise Oxford from 1979, which belonged to my mom in her first years in Canada. I preferred it to the newer editions because it was lighter and the pages were thinner. I remember liking the words dearth and fraught because they were totally new words to me. I was also pretty confused about how to use the word foment.

My handwriting went through an identity crisis in 2002 — flat and wide, which nothing like the way I write now. 

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