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Salimata Lala Fall

Jean Coco
English 1001
09, December, 2015
Audience: My target audience is high school students and young college students who have
many changes in their life, whether that be divorce, constant moving, or family circumstances.
Unchanging Variables

1. I am sitting in the car. To be more specific, I am riding in a car. My mother is driving,

and my sister, who is nine years my senior, is sitting in the passenger side. The day of the week,
or the time that we were in the car, I do not recall. I can't remember the street we were on, nor the
city or state we happened to be in at that time. These details, while they may be interesting, are
irrelevant to my story. They are ever changing. They are not constant.
2. I am getting picked up from elementary school. My mother has already picked up my
sister from her school, and I take my place in the backseat. We are listening to NPR (National
Public Radio) the afternoon addition This is a constant. Every afternoon as we were en route
home, my mother always played this station. Enunciated voices filled the car. Even if I did not
want to listen to that the station, the words drifted into my head. My mind, like a sponge, soaking
up the segments. After sometime, ten minutes, twenty minutes, possibly the entire duration of the
car ride, my mother would ask us what we learned. We were required to tell her about a segment
of the radio show. She would ask us follow up questions, and our opinion on the current event we

just learned. In retrospect, I never understood the importance of listening to NPR while in the
car. I didn't know that these car rides helped to shape my personal literacy.
3. No, listening to NPR never bothered me. Nor did my mother constantly correcting my
errors when I was speaking. It was normal. It was my family norm. I guess when I was younger I
thought that everyone did it. As I got older, and I realized that not a lot of my peers had
homework given to their parents. Or that writing essays as a punishment was not
common. However, I appreciate everything that was done. I was reading at higher levels and
writing strong papers at a young age. I was tested for gifted in elementary school and my reading
and writing levels were of course the strongest out of all of the others. After that, I was placed in
advanced classes all throughout my schooling. I have only brought a B home on a report card in
English twice since I have been in school. I have always loved reading and writing, though it is
difficult, it came with ease because of what my parents done. My mother and father both
instilled that value in me since I was little. Years later, when I get home from my classes, I see
myself now, doing homework at the table, almost mirroring the image of myself when I was
younger. The sequence of events still the same 10 years later...
4.When we got home, it was time to do homework. My mother would prepare an
afternoon snack and give us time to get settled, and then my sister and I took our seats at our
kitchen table. This was a constant. No matter, where we moved, we always did our homework at
the kitchen table. A long, rectangular, cherry stain hardwood table sat us. My mother would play
music, and we would begin our homework. She would circulate the table, periodically checking
to see our progress, helping us when needed. My mother said that sitting at the table to do our
homework prevented us from falling asleep. Or at least if I did, occasionally doze off, she was

there to wake me. Fast forward ten years, My mother is still here to wake me if I fall asleep
doing work. She is always there to help and guide me.
5.My mother, an extraordinary lady in merits, has several certifications, degrees, and
awards, including her PhD from Miami University in Ohio. I remember being little and her
dressing me in two piece suits and taking me to class with her. My mother had her briefcase and
lunch box, and if one were to look over to her right, and down, there was her daughter, with her
briefcase and lunchbox, holding her hand. I remember this image, like it was photograph taped
inside my memories. It emphasizes how my mother moved mountains for my education. How
she was always teaching me at every moment. How at night she read to me from William
Bennett's collection of stories. There she sat, at the corner of my bed, her voice sounding
melodic as she read The Velveteen Rabbit. The words sinking into my head, as I repeated
pronouncing words after her.. How these small things were constant literary reinforcements,
hearing new words, hearing these words pronounced, and then starting to slowly incorporate
them into my own personal vocabulary. Both of my parents had different ways to go about
teaching their children. However, they both had the same goals and my mother and my father
would not stop until they were fulfilled.
6. My father, to some, may seem strict. He had certain expectations that he wanted for his
children. He filled our house with thick accents and three different languages. Watching him
develop his English skills, helped me develop mine. He learned from my mistakes, and viceversa. I remember being little, sitting at the hardwood table watching my father listening to my
mother teaching me about the list of prepositions lamented on the fridge, constantly reminding us
to "not end a sentence with a preposition." How he too was learning. While it was difficult
juggling three languages, I feel as though it helped me add a different perspective in my writing.

He taught the importance of proving yourself. "Excel for yourself, your family, and your people."
Each time we moved, whether it was Paris, North Carolina, Canada, or Kentucky, I was picking
adding to my language. I was learning new lingo and phrases that I incorporate into my writing.
My writing benefitted from moving frequently. When I moved from the north to the south, I
found that my writing became more stylized. I developed such a strong voice that no matter what
teacher I had, they could tell the paper was mine without even reading the name on the left hand
side. My writing was very honest and reflective, raw. I took pride in my vernacular and that
showcased in my writing. My vocabulary was extensive and my syntax varied greatly. I wrote
about how I felt, always including personal stories, thoughts, and experiences. I had a mission to
captivate my reader, to hook them from beginning paragraphs. Moving broadened my horizons. I
learned that literacy was more than writing, it was reading, speaking, and absorbing. Culture
influenced my writing indefinitely, it helps me make my writing more personal...more me. I
learned that education was more than Math, Science, Social Studies, and English.
7. Education has always been a constant. My parents were constant factors in my
education, especially my literacy education. No matter what changed in my life's equation: the
state in which I was living, the school I was attending, my parents were always there. How my
mother was present when I was inducted into National Honors Society. How she shed a small
tear, that she quickly wiped away when I graduated high school with Magna Cum Laude, and
four chords draped around my neck. Pushing, loving, even at times, nagging, with the intentions
of bettering their child.