I have always loathed english education. As a kindergartener I was horrible with language. We are talking speak impediment, inability to turn letters into sounds, actual tears were shed because I struggled so much with the concept of reading. Now that I am older I know that this is linked to an auditory processing disorder. Once I got over the hurdles of actually learning to read I found another strong dislike in the english education process. I found that in most of my classes we only had to memorize facts and take tests. Instead of actually learning critical thinking skills we were taught how to write cookie cutter responses and sparknotes entire novels. Throughout middle and high school I found english class pretty much the same every year with no increasing difficulty level, just new books to memorize. When I started Advanced Placement Literature and Composition I was happy to find I was being more challenged in both my reading and writing while also being given more choice in how and why and read and wrote things.
I have enjoyed reading as a main form of entertainment since I was a child. Growing up in a home with only one television and full of people who loved watching television, I used reading as a way to occupy my time with topics I was interested in. As I grew, reading became a way to escape from the severe anxiety I began to find myself facing in daily life, as a way to turn of the loud sounds of the world around me. Often I will start out first thing in the morning reading news articles and nonfiction that seems relevant and interesting to my life. However my real love has always been reading stories. I loves stories that make me laugh, make me cry, or just make me feel warm in me chest with an appreciation for life. Lined on the walls of my room are shelves I put up with my dad years ago, and on these shelves are the nearly 400 books I have collected of all kinds of subject matter. Of course, the most numerous and varied subject is stories. As a kid I spent a lot of time with my Grandmama, who always described her large turn of the century house as a personal castle, secluded and full of books, just like she wanted when she was a little girl. This time spent with my grandmother instilled the idea that the value in reading is immeasurable as it is a way to gather information and learn in a way that is very personal to the reader themselves. While reading a person could pick up on ideas they didn't intend to find and carry it with them into daily life. Highschool has been a changing point in my reading habits as now I spends most of my time reading for class. Keeping interest or even picking up a new book at all can be quite challenging in itself as now instead of reading for emotion and plot I often have to read for information and facts.However binge reading on the weekends is still my favorite way of relieving stress. Currently I am reading A Storm of Swords for the third time along with the rest of A Song of Ice and Fire Series , my favorite author is Ellen Hopkins as over the last year as I have read all of her books.
As much as I don't like to write, I would consider myself a writer. Starting in grade school with the numerous journaling activities I found joy in learning to write. I liked the way it made me process my own thoughts and think about language. People write as an expression of ideas and as a way to organize thoughts for a multitude of purposes, whether professional or personal. Because writing is hard, in my opinion in order to write well someone simply has to be able to transfer their thought stream into coherent sentences. My favorite things to write are my own thoughts and potential explanations of concepts I run across in my day to day life, similar to journaling in a way. However, I do not do it often at home, as even though no one may see the finished product, the act of writing gives me performance anxiety.Once finished I love what I have written as it gives me a sense of completion and mental clarity. The best kind of response I can receive is either an invitation to discuss the topics of the writing further or kind constructive criticism about writing style and structure.
To be able to see Literature for more than it’s surface level story
To be able to confidently communicate my thoughts
To not think of critical thinking as “work” but as a second nature