Any parent of a child with a learning disability or anyone who has payed attention to her learning style knows that each person has a dominant way of learning. Some are auditory learners, taking in everything they hear. These are the students who actually remember lectures. Other are kinesthetic learners, who learn by doing. These are the students who thrive in lab classes and frequently rewrite notes while studying. And then there are the visual learners. Those whose eyes are vital to their education. Isabella is clearly of the final category. This was apparent years ago when the traditional teaching for children with dyslexia, Orton-Gillingham, failed to produce any results. Presenting words on index cards with accompanying stickers and no phonics is what kicked off Isabella’s reading.
That’s not when I realized she was a visual learner, however. We had watched Something’s Gotta Give, a favorite movie of mine set in the Hamptons in a house that most will only visit on screen. Much later, maybe years, Isabella saw Annie Hall, which featured the quite younger Diane Keaton. She immediately identified Ms. Keaton as the same woman who was in the beach movie and provided enough detail of the plot for a movie critic career. Directors would swoon over her — she loves every movie she sees. Then she went on to identify every other movie that she has seen in which Diane Keaton has starred — Baby Boom, Father of the Bride, Because I Said So, The Family Stone, and Shoot the Moon.
Okay, you might say, so what. Though Diane Keaton has aged since 1977 when she appeared in Annie Hall, her clothing in real life and in the movies has remained the same. (Was it that long ago? It seems like yesterday that women were wearing men’s ties and jackets.) How does that explain her immediate spotting of Sue Sylvester as Julia Child’s sister in Julie & Julia? When she told me that the character was the same woman as in television show Glee, I had no idea to whom she was referring. It’s Jane Lynch as both characters for sure, but I did not recognize her until Isabella pointed her out. And the productions were filmed maybe a year or two apart, certainly not enough to show an age difference. In defense of myself, I could point to the extremely varied costumes — ’40s era dresses in Julie & Julia and sweat suits for Glee. And I’m a visual learner, too!
Obviously, the costume change was not enough to stump Isabella.