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First draft Literacy Memoir

My personal experience with literacy has come from many years of struggle with reading, writing, speaking, thinking, and learning. The earliest experiences I can remember occurred during my first few years of school, I cant say I remember a lot but I am pretty certain I read a book about a clown in Kindergarten and followed that up by becoming a published author In Mrs. Harts first grade class with literary classics such as Weekend and Wesleys Birthday. What really first inspired me as a reader or writer however was a series of books that I became interested in during First grade, the series was Harry Potter, then 3 books in. My mother read the first 3 to me, and I grew more excited by each one. I wished to someday be able to read these myself without the need to rely on another adult. I felt that would be a liberating experience, to be able to navigate a full length novel. I didnt realize it at the time but that inspiration really drove me, I read increasingly difficult books over the next couple years, my reading level shooting up quickly. I read about Franklin the turtle, The Bernestein Bear family, Arthur, The Adventures of Cam Jansen, Hank the Cowdog and many more, increasingly difficult novels over the next couple years. When the 4th book came out I couldnt scale it to the level I had wished but there was definit ely a sense of accomplishment at the progress I had made in a relatively short period of time. What the Harry Potter books really did for me was serve as a catalyst, J.K. Rowlings ability seamless transitioned me into a new, fantastical world. With all sorts of characters, events, and fantasies that occupied my mind for many years. Harry Potter became my first obsession, going to the bookstore to pick up the final 3 on their release dates, going to the

movies all of their opening days, and buying merchandise, video games, and much more from the series. Therefore I consider J.K. Rowling to be one of my biggest literacy sponsors throughout my life, I feel she inspired me along with millions of other children around the world to experience their first true joys while reading. Her books were he first to indicate to me that reading, rather than a chore I was expected to complete, could be fun and exciting. It could inspire feelings, emotions, and excitement through just the words on the page. I had never previously realized this and am thankful that I opened my mind to this line of thinking. Another one of my lifes literacy sponsors was my High School English/ law teacher, Ms. Clarkson. Going to a small school I had Ms. Clarkson in a total of 3 classes, English I, English IV, and criminal law, and because of her these are the 3 I most fondly look back on. Ms. Clarkson was an older woman, mid-50s and a former lawyer who had retired from that profession 5 years before I had first had her during my freshman year. She was an extraordinarily entertaining and funny teacher who made students comfortable through her humor, playfulness and constant self-decapration. Her teaching methods, while not as obvious as other teachers I experienced, were very effective and led to hear securing a perfect pass rate on the EOCs for the 4 consecutive years I was there. She rejected textbook use and generally rejected the idea of right or wrong analysis, but challenged use in other ways what did not simply call for filling a bubble or writing a couple sentences. As nice as she was, she wasnt always a nice grader and never handed out 100s because as she put it there are no perfects in English What I feel she most challenged me with however was a 10-page research paper she required her English IV Honors students to write as their final project for her class. I agonized over every part of this paper, from its subject, to its sentences, to its flow, to its details, and

even to its titles. Eventually decided that it would be on Juvenile crime and wrote it over the course of a few weeks, struggling all along the way. It became a very consuming project that I looked forward to finishing not because I was excited with my progress, but because I simply wished for it to no longer hold over my head. When the submission deadline hit I posted it reluctantly, wondering just how well it came out and fearing that it was not up to the standards that I feel like I should have achieved as a High School Senior. I waited for a grade back for a few weeks in dread fearing that I would only receive a mediocre or even failing grade that would take me below the A threshold I had held up, at least to that point. Eventually, the day came and the paper was put onto my desk face-down, I took a few deep breaths, hesisted once or twice, before finally peaking at the top of my paper where I read 98. I was at first shocked and in disbelief, how could that have possibly been?