I suppose that a lot of us who have been very young in New York have the same scenes in our home screens. I remember sitting in a lot of apartments with a slight headache about five o’clock in the morning. I had a friend who could not sleep, and he knew a few other people who had the same trouble, and we would watch the sky lighten and have a last drink with no ice and then go home in the early morning, when the streets were clean and wet (had it rained in the night? we never knew) and the few cruising taxis still had their headlights on and the only color was the red and green of traffic signals. The White Rose bars opened very early in the morning; I recall waiting in one of them to watch an astronaut go into space, waiting so long that at the moment it actually happened I had my eyes not on the television screen but on a cockroach on the tile floor. I liked the bleak branches above Washington Square at dawn, and the monochromatic flatness of Second Avenue, the fire escapes and the grilled storefronts peculiar and empty in their perspective.
This program is very systematic in its teaching. It was like having a step-by-step to do list. Where all other programs failed because they were too conceptual, this program worked because of the easy step-by-step process. My son is in high school now and his writing is acceptable. He’s not a natural writer, so I don’t think it will ever be exceptional, but it is good now. Even though Pattern Based Writing is intended for younger children, it is great for a remedial program at the middle school level. I just moved faster at the earliest stages. What I found was that the simple explanation of things makes this program wonderful for a child who is struggling with writing. You get the “Oh, that’s all you wanted” light bulb going off.