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John Breitenbach 1

John Breitenbach
Professor Blackie
ENG 1010 CRN# 11656
30 April 2014
WP #1 Final Draft
Word Count: 937
How I Learned To Read and Write

When I was a small child, there were many people and things that influenced me in my
learning process. There were good things and bad things that altered my learning experience
and had a significant impact on my learning process. The positive people in my life helped me
to develop a better learning process while the bad hindered my education and caused a slower
pace development for me.
My mother was one of the best influences that I had as a child. She would read, Dr.
Sues, The Jungle book and other various childrens stories. I remember how she would sit
there and read with me while trying to make me read from the book when I couldnt even
understand the words in front of me. She would take the time to help me learn the alphabet
and write out my numbers and letters every day after school. My sister was another great
person involved in my learning experience. She is a year and a half older than I am, so when I
was learning she already had the basic knowledge that I needed. For some reason, she was able
to connect with me on a better level than most people. I would crawl into bed and sometimes
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we would just lay there and she would read to me as if I were her child. I feel that some of my
vocabulary learned as a child was due to my sister.
Growing up you learn a lot of your speech, reading, and writing from listening and
viewing the people around you and how they interact with one another. A lot of my knowledge
of words and speech came exactly from that. I would listen to the conversations that were
going on around me and the way different terms were used. This allowed me to develop a well-
rounded vocabulary as a small child. My father was no help in my learning process at all. I will
not go into the person he was, but I will say that he did the worst thing that I think anyone
could have ever done regarding my education. His choice of deciding to hold me back in the
first grade had the largest effect on my learning experience. You would think that it would not
have had a big impact on me as a child, but in reality it did. I had straight As and was a very
bright child. He felt that since he was held back in first grade that I should go through that same
experience as he did. I watched the other kids from my class leave while I was introduced to
new kids. I had the same teacher with close to the same work. My mother was livid; my
teachers felt bad for me and knew that I didnt belong in the class. My teachers started to
introduce things that I should have been learning in the next grade. This may have seemed like
a good idea but when youre told to work on this stuff and just ignore whats going on in class,
it changes your outlook on things. I was working on cursive writing and math while others were
working on their alphabet. It felt very odd and lonely not be able to be a true part of the class
and this is when I began to lose interest in school.
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I progressed through school learning but not caring and pretty much just floating along.
In middle school, we started using computers and I was introduced to advanced English classes
that allowed me to understand multiple forms of reading and writing. In my computer class, I
learned how to type on a computer while gaining the knowledge to operate the technology.
The English class broadened my knowledge of fiction and non-fiction materials. During my
middle school years another thing happened that caused me to lose interest even more. My
eighth grade year, I had a lot going on in my life. While I do understand that all teenagers have
a lot going on in their lives but my life has been something of stories you would break down
into at least thirty books or so. With everything going on, I was placed into the William S. Hall
Psychiatric Institute for Children and Adolescents. After my stay there, I returned to school. My
teachers and the administrator decided to pass me into the next grade even though I was failing
all of my classes due to missing so many days of school. I was happy to be able to go to the next
grade, but at the same time I had missed so much during that year that by passing me, it only
made things harder and gave me more of a handicap with learning.
Later on I ended up dropping out of school and just moving on with my life until the end
of last year when I got my GED. I decided to attend Tri-C and obtain a degree in IT Programming
and Development. Being a student at Tri-C and taking English 1010 has allowed me to learn
about the written English language that I should have learned in the past. The events in life
have caused for me to have a lower understanding of the writing process and a lesser
vocabulary than I could have obtained. I feel that I am very smart for the circumstances that I
have dealt with and that shaped my life until now.
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