“A C D B..” “Very close, but no. It’s A B C D!” From learning the ABC’s in kindergarten to research papers in high school, my knowledge for literacy is continuously growing. Although the journey of it wasn’t quite my favorite, it definitely had its ups and downs, there are many things that made me want to strive to be the best I can possibly be. I mean what’s more influential than your teacher threatening you with a F if you don’t try your hardest on an essay? I guess there might be a few things more influential than that. Of course, story time was every child’s absolute favorite in the younger years of elementary school, sitting in a big circle listening to a story while the teacher shows us the pictures. These were the moments I would go deep into imagination and picture myself as a character in the book. And now looking back into high school, instead of getting into deep imagination, I was getting deep into research, trying to earn an A on that next paper that is due.
My Mother and Grandmother practically bought me every children’s book in all of children’s book history, so growing up meant continuous reading. This is where my journey with literacy had begun. I had a bedtime story every night. I wouldn’t go to sleep without one. This increased my knowledge in literature, causing me to prepare for kindergarten, which was intriguing to my 5 year old self. Once in school, I always was looking forward too story time on our big world carpet we had right in the middle of the classroom. I would always sit right in front eager to hear what story my teacher had chosen for the day.
Little did I know, getting older meant reading books that began to get longer and longer, but that necessarily wasn’t always a bad thing. Warm sunny afternoons in 4th grade meant time to go to the library, pick our favorite book, and go sit by the enormous shady tree right in the middle of our school. It was always peaceful there, a perfect place to sit and enjoy a good book. This was most students favorite time of the day, other than recess. Of course each time I would go and grab my personal favorite, The Magic Tree House. These engaging series of books were consuming. In the books, Jack and Annie were brother and sister and they had a beautiful tree house full of any book you could think of. Each book helped take them to mystical places that didn’t truly exist around the world. They would go help people in need in this other world, using books as resources to assist them. With a childlike imagination, I would picture myself as Annie. This gave me so much joy as I acted like a fictional character. I was fascinated that they could use books too help people in many ways, I was hopeful to be just like them one day, but of course that wasn’t possible to be a reality. I dreaded the moment we had to go back inside. I could have sat out there for hours on end reading each book until I have finished them all. It was like the list of them never ended, once I finished one book there was already another book waiting for me. I knew I would feel a sense of accomplishment the moment I was done with each one. My teachers were always trying to get me to come back inside, but I couldn’t help but continue to be hooked to the book until I got to the end.
Once out of elementary school, I wasn’t the biggest fan of reading as I used to be. Now I began to have to read things that weren’t as interesting and write about things I didn’t really want too. I began to start dreading anything I had to do involving reading and writing, especially when I went into high school. My sophomore year English class definitely had to do with this. Lets just say my teacher wasn’t my favorite. Now don’t get me wrong, she was an awesome teacher who was really strict and wanted the best out of her students, but I’d have to say her approach wasn’t the greatest. She constantly was snarking at us for not reaching her expectations. Some of her snarking may have been beneficial, it did cause me to put hours of hard work and thought into every essay I wrote. I know this is a skill you should acquire anyways when you are writing, but I believe forcing it upon us made us not want to be creative or think outside the box. I’m sure her goal was to make us better writers, but unfortunately it made me never want to write an essay ever again. Just turning in my essay was intimidating. I always dread the moment I received my paper back in fear that I didn’t get the best grade, which I’ll admit I never received the A that I hoped for. Although it may have been a horrible whole year that ruined many things in literature for me, I’m glad that I went through an experience that made me want to try the hardest I possibly could on every assignment that I did.
When it didn’t come to school, I found enjoyment in reading Nicholas Sparks books. I know these are mostly sappy love stories, but they are my absolute favorite. Late nights when I would finish my homework I would read the books until I fell asleep. I also loved that they became movies; wouldn’t you love to see the words you read become real life? These were possibly the only books anyone could actually get me to read, even if they put unreal expectations in my head. In a way I found an escape in these books, they gave me a sense of relief from all the difficult readings and time consuming essays I had to write in school.
And now my journey with literature continues, as I sit in an English class my freshman year in college. I’ve been through multiple things when it comes to it, but I am aware there is still plenty of experience ahead of me. Even if they were good experiences or not, I love what I have been through to have shaped me into being the reader and writer that I am today. There are occasions I wish I could go back to sitting under the tree in the warm sun reading The Magic Tree House, I can almost remember it like it was yesterday. But now, I face reality and deal with what I have coming to me. My journey with literacy doesn’t just stop now, it will continue on forever, I’ll take on any challenge that comes my way.