During my childhood, the reoccurring idea of having a college education was greatly presented. Therefore, it was my responsibility to excel in my school work and succeed throughout my life. Learning to read and write became the basic foundation of my growth as a young child. My childhood was overhauled by many days spent reading and writing to learn correct English. I first found this to ridiculous, but as I grew up, I began to notice all the rewards that came with having the ability to be literate.
The oldest memory I have of my journey with reading has to be when I was around four years old. I was living in my hometown, Stone Mountain, Georgia, and I was in the family room of our white 2-story single family home. I remember sitting in front of the television, watching the end of an episode of Between the Lions and hearing my mom say “It’s time to read a book”. I was always happy to hear that phrase. My tiny feet dashed over to the giant brown bookshelf sitting to the right of our family room against the wall and grabbed the biggest book I could carry. When I returned to the comfy couch, where my mom was waiting, I had brought back a book titled “The Encyclopedia of Animals”. Then there came my second favorite part about the entire day, the joy of writing.
After lunch every day, my mom would pull out my Crayola table and chair set with the alphabet as a border, and gather a stack of paper she had printed off with sentences that I could trace. After every sentence I traced, she would have me read it back to her five times. Then, I would walk over to my Fisher Price magnetic alphabet board that was set up in the corner of the family room to attempt to spell out words that my mom would call out to me. Later on, at night it was time for my bedtime routine. I would grab my pink Leapstart and read while I was hooked up to my breathing machine with an orange smiley face on the front flap. Reading and writing at such a young age with my mom made my encounters later on with books not as difficult.
Starting elementary school was a breeze for me when it came to reading and writing. My mom had been preparing me for the moment I entered grade school. I remember walking down the long hallway finally reaching my kindergarten classroom at Pine Ridge Elementary School, and greeting my teacher, Ms. Roberts. I walked over to the puzzle-like structured mat and sat with the rest of my classmates so that we could begin learning our vocabulary words. I noticed that I was ahead of my class during our individual reading time, most of my classmates needed a lot of assistance from the teacher. Kindergarten was just the beginning of my journey, the material became more advanced over the years but I was prepared. Ending kindergarten I was finally able to compose complete sentences and ideas.
Third grade was the year that schools began testing us on basic reading and writing skills, and boy was I excited. I used the third grade to showcase my talents in my knowledge of understanding reading materials and being able to write about them. I remember having to do a project about who I was, and there were two options. The first option was to create a vision board displaying your life and the next option was to create a short story about your life. I went home that day and began immediately writing about myself and my family. Now it was time to present, which was my least favorite part but at least I could tell my story. After this day I began writing more stories which helped me increase my vocabulary.
During the later part of elementary school and the start of middle school, my writing improved and I understood what parts of speech were and some of the grammar rules that came with writing. Grammar took a lot of practice so my mom and I reviewed it before the beginning of a new semester. We would sit down and do worksheets where I would have to choose the word that best fits within a sentence. On my own, I would go to the Funbrain website and practice what I had learned.
While attending high school are my most detailed of memories when it comes to reading. I can remember during my freshman year of high school my English teacher Mr. Davis made English class interesting. He would give us interactive activities to explain things such as figures of speech. He was the first teacher to spark my interest in dramatic literature. I remember reading The Odyssey by Homer and writing an about the trials and triumph of a hero’s journey. We also began reading Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. While reading the play we would be required to analyze the text, and the write a paper to help our writing skills. Freshman year was the school year that prepared me for the rest of high school.
I can remember during my sophomore year having trouble writing my research paper on The Tragedy of Julius Caesar. I had so many ideas that it was hard for me to stay focused on starting my paper. Drafting helped make all of my future papers better. I made a huge improvement in my final paper. Drafting helped make all of my future papers better. Also, I learned how to incorporate ethos, pathos, and logos into our writing. I never realized how it important this would be later on in my writing.
Now in my junior year reading The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne made me realize how important rereading a piece of text was. Reading the Scarlet Letter made me realize how important re-reading a piece of text is if you did not pick up a good understanding the first time around. I learned how to use strong textual evidence to support what the text says. By the end of my junior year, I was able to determine an author’s point of view and purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and persuasiveness of the text. This helped me make a smooth transition to the final year of high school.
My British literature class made my senior year interesting. The class involved a lot of writing and a bunch of projects. Our very first project in that class was to create a coat of arms similar to the one talked about in the epic Beowulf. The next project was a group project where we had to break down “Sonnet 18,” a poem by William Shakespeare, and write an essay about the three quatrains and the closing couplet. We then had to present our findings to the entire class. Presenting was a huge part of the class. This class was also comprised of a lot of comprehension skills. We were often quizzed on the different scenes in Macbeth to see if analyzed the text right and also to see if we had comprehended correctly. My experiences in high school greatly impacted my literacy narrative.
Now that I am embarking on a new journey in my life. My English class in college involves a lot of reading and writing. We have done multiple papers, which were broken down to help us get the different aspects of it. The hardest paper I had to write in my class had to be the research paper. I had to choose a topic and do research using scholarly texts to help support my claims. Even though I am still having trouble staying focused and getting my point across, my English class has allowed me to improve on my skills of writing my key statement and organizing my key points without across misunderstood. It is an objective of mine to enhance my abilities of concentrating on the theory articulation and being capable express my considerations plainly without steering clear of the real issue and meandering on. I have progressed significantly throughout the years however there is dependably opportunity to get better.
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