I don't have a photograph. I have a memory, and it's more vivid and real than any camera could capture.
It's me sitting in the office with a man interviewing me about my application to enter Banneker, the model academic high school in Washington, D.C. I attended. (The man interviewing me, Robert Steptoe, would later become my freshman-year English teacher.)
I remember him listening to me unspool this line of observations and self-assessments about my previous junior-high school performance in a suburb just north of the city.
Then, at a point where I'd run out of things to say, he slowly said the words: "Do you know ... the meaning ... of the word ... 'glib'?"
"Sure," I said. "It's, like, smooth. Or like someone to whom words come ..." and I suddenly realized what he was doing "... easily."
And that was then I knew that there was no guarantee I could gain entry to this school. Everything that had come to me without much stress (my test scores, my recommendations from my instructors) wasn't going to be of any use if my own mouth was going to sink my hopes right then and there.