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Brittany Peters 9/19/13 Literate Narrative My dad is my hero and the greatest man I have ever had the

honor of knowing. My dad has impacted my literacy journey more than anyone or anything. When I think about any tools I have developed or knowledge I have in my life I know it came from my dad. Growing up with him and watching his brave actions and selfless deeds has molded me into the person I am today. Im very close to my dad and I love him with all of my heart. My career aspirations derived from and were inspired by my father. I plan to walk in his footsteps in hopes of being as brave and courageous as he is. He is in the air national guard as a navigator on C130s. He is also a Federal Air Marshall for Homeland Security. All through his life he is used to protecting and serving his country. He has taught me many things and has always encouraged me to record my thoughts in a journal and this impacted my literacy journey more than anything I can think of. One specific event galvanized my writing journey that has stayed with me till this day. When I was ten years old: my dad, his girlfriend at the time, and I were on our way to Florida to set sail for our cruise. My dad stops at a pharmacy and when he comes out, he hands me a colorful book and says I thought it would be fun for you to write about your fun times on the cruise so you never forget the good memories. I thanked him and smiled but in my mind Im thinking, this is stupid, I hate writing! I began writing things I didnt care about to make my dad happy and not hurt his feelings. While pretending to write, my dad suddenly pulls over to side of the road and by the look on his face, I could tell something bad had just occurred. My dad said, A car just ran off the road and into the woods! Without hesitating he

got out of the car and ran towards the vehicle. I wanted so badly to run after him and help but he told us to stay in the car. I couldnt see what was happening and time seemed to drag by slowly; police began to show up, and after them, the paramedics and eventually a helicopter landed in the middle of the highway stopping traffic. I knew in that moment, the wreck was serious. My heart was pounding and I was just praying the person was okay but I was curious to know exactly what my dad was doing and how he was helping the situation. About half an hour later I see my dad walking with paramedics and a man on a stretcher towards the helicopter. My dad shakes the police officers hands and comes walking back towards the truck. Noticing the blood stains and his sweaty forehead I was beyond eager to hear what happened and my dad described what happened in a short version that lacked details. My guess was he didnt want to share exactly how awful the accident was and what horrors he witnessed. He said the man was unconscious and my dad took the man out of the car, called the police, and helped the paramedics with an IV and helped the man return to consciousness. Questions ran through my mind such as how could my dad be so brave? And what would I have done in that situation. As my mind was racing with questions I noticed the helicopter flying away with realizing there was a human inside my dad selflessly helped in a time of desperation and need. We began to drive towards Florida again as if nothing happened and acting as if he didnt just help save a life. I looked beside me and my journal is still sitting there with meaningless scribble written inside. I immediately grabbed it and began describing what had just happened knowing I never wanted to forget it. I began writing frantically as if the words were in danger of escaping my

mind at any moment. An idea I use to believe was stupid changed in one hour to something that began my literacy journey because of my dads brave actions. Writing this event where my dad helped a person in need made me want to continue writing about important things to me that impact my life positively and negatively. Without that journal I wouldnt have such detailed reminders about how brave and heroic my dad is and be reminded of his extraordinary character. My dads character has influenced my literacy journey because without him I wouldnt have had a reason to write about such an extraordinary person. Without him I wouldnt have an understanding of how writing about simple things such as life situations and obstacles impact your learning process of language and reading. I turned to my journal for things I couldnt share with people such as my parents divorce. Events in my life that I couldnt possibly share with people I told to my journal. Events such as my Aunts murder, my grandfather passing away, two of my friends committing suicide, and many more tragic events that have occurred get communicated through writing instead of verbally. This helped develop my writing abilities and has helped paved my pathway for my literacy journey. Writing became a personal relationship between my journal and myself, which changed the way I felt about writing. Writing in a professional manner and not a free write became difficult for me and I despised it because I became use to free writing straight from my mind and heart without any constraint or restrictions. Another person who affected my literacy journey at a different stage in my life was my brother. I love my brother very much and we have a very unique relationship. We fought a lot growing up and not like most siblings. We are two

completely different people. I always try to make him happy and fight for his approval. He was a person who didnt express his emotions or talk about what was on his mind. I am the same way but he took holding things in to the extreme. He had difficulty telling me he loved me growing up and he never said it first. I would tell him I loved him and he would just nod and give me a hug and this continually broke my heart. I always thought something was wrong with me and I was just never going to be good enough for him. However, when he was deployed in Afghanistan, I would constantly write him to let him know someone back home is eagerly waiting for him to come home. One day I received a letter from my brother and in it he told me he loved me for the first time. It filled my heart with joy and motivated me to continue writing to him. I began to worry about his state of mind because being deployed changed my brother and I would write to him and remind him how much I loved him and that I couldnt wait for him to return. Writing was my only way to be close to him during that time period. I wasnt sure how much he might have needed me but I want to make sure I was always there for him just in case. He impacted my literacy journey by teaching me that writing is a way to express your thoughts and emotions. It developed by writing abilities and forced me to become a stronger writer and I actually enjoyed it. To have my brother tell me he loved me without me having to say it first touched me to a point where I felt I had no choice but to continue to write to him and stay connected and remind him how much I loved him. At a different point in my life I also wrote to my father when he was deployed to Afghanistan. My dad was deployed in 2011 and at this point I was already advanced in my literacy abilities. He wasnt gone very long but it was still extremely

difficult for me to live without my dad. Having the motivation to constantly write him to stay in touch reminded me of how writing expresses yourself and your emotions. I find it interesting how putting your thoughts and emotions directly from your heart and soul on paper can impact your literary journey in such a massive way. My brother and my father have indirectly taught me that writing is an important component to communicating language and understanding literacy in an advanced way. Having tragic life events occur growing up as everyone has, has also impacted my literacy journey by motivating me to write about these events as a way to help me heal and move on from the situation. Writing became my therapy but I have slowly moved away from writing in a journal because I am able to communicate my feelings verbally and cope with them better. I believe writing helped me do that while paving my literacy journey. Another major event besides writing that has broadened my horizons on language and helped guide my literacy journey on an interesting and foreign path was when I traveled to France with my dad for a week. Being in a foreign country is like being thrown in the wild naked and incompetent. It makes you feel like you have no sense of your surroundings and you lack understanding of the world. However, listening to the beautiful language and discovering a new culture helped broaden my horizons of language and understand it. Being completely submersed in a new language helps you learn it quicker and even read it. I learned how to order at a restaurant and seeing certain signs in French helped me have a since of direction and belonging. Traveling made me have a new appreciation for language and culture and the elegancy and beauty of this foreign language motivates me to incorporate it

into my writing. Im not a very strong writer but being in France affected my writing abilities and motivated me to use elegant language. I remember going to a sandwich shop in the Palace of Versailles and ordering in French for the first time. I was very proud of myself and had a new sense of belonging in this foreign location. This experience influenced me to begin learning French and incorporate it into my daily life. I began studying with Rosetta stone online at home and practicing as much as I could. My Grandpop and Nana live in Virginia and my Nana is a retired schoolteacher. She is also fluent in French, which fascinated me and also influenced me to learn this language. I would go visit her and she would point at an object and say their French names and talk to me with small sentences. I had difficulty understanding but she was persistent and I would eventually understand. When I wasnt in Virginia I would call my Nana on the phone and attempt to talk to her in French. Being in a foreign country surrounded by new culture and trying to learn this new language definitely had a significant impact on my literacy journey and started a new chapter on that journey. Going to a foreign country, writing in my journal, and writing to my brother and father while deployed impacted my literary journey in a positive way. The way I have learned and discovered language is directly because of my life experiences and reflecting those experiences on paper. My mind was opened to new possibilities and further understanding of the world around and other cultures and language. I have came to respect and appreciate language and what it expresses as a direct result from traveling and the particular life experiences I have endured.