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Fernando Brambila
Professor Adler
English 100 #70525
27 September 2015
Literacy and Me
As a student who deferred from school for 2 years after high school, I see education as a
much needed and great necessity filled with many opportunities to fulfill my hopes in gaining a
successful future. Being a first generation student makes me feel a sense of entitlement of my
future, as well as pride with knowing that i'm bettering myself. For my education experiences,
one of them being how I saw school and how it affected me educationally, gave me a sense of
discouragement towards learning. Although when it came to reading, I did find myself enjoying
it greatly but with minor difficulties, such as my reading level and comprehension of the reading.
Last but not least, writing came to me as a major complication in my educational experience, and
it scared me not having the ability to put words together and create short stories, essays, and
narratives. Im now finding myself at a much greater level for both reading and writing
comprehension, as well as a better and positive attitude towards learning.
While I attended school, I tended to imagine it as a type of imprisonment, where my
teachers were the wardens, which did change my outlook on learning. Classes always felt
guarded by their rules and regulations instead of giving us the ability to express our true selves.
Now as a hispanic student, I had the rotten feeling of being objectified against because of my
race and wasnt always given the proper motivation from my instructors. Just the same as in
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Superman and Me by Sherman Alexie, the quote We were Indian children who were expected
to be stupid (13), pertains to me and how my race has portrayed me as a minority to others. I
took a notice to how the teachers continuously viewed me with a fixed mindset of their own,
having low expectations for my educational values. Their poor attitudes towards me resulted in
me having false hopes in my own success of excelling towards a greater learning experience.
Every year I had the unfortunate upbringing of having to move to a new school, this did decrease
my passion and motivation for learning, just as in Freedom Writers, by Erin Gruwell. In the
story, we are provided with many journal entries describing the harsh lives of many different
ethnic students attempting to survive their own high school experience. One of the students goes
on to tell how his own problems outside of school made him care less about learning and
education, and more about trying to stray from trouble that could land him incarcerated or even
dead. Instead of focusing on education, I found myself preoccupied with fitting in and making
friends, this did indeed put me at a lower ranking, not only for myself but for how my instructors
viewed me. As a college student, I believe I have now broken down the barriers of not only my
expectations but others as well. School has become one of my biggest priorities in achieving a
successful future.
Reading always came to me as an enjoyment, yet the disabilities I faced led to not having
the greater ability to truly comprehend the passage I had just consumed, sadly just as a child that
couldnt translate adult television shows at a young age. When I first started off, my reading
comprehension was at the level of Goosebump books and other beginner narratives. After years
and years of putting off reading, it finally clicked in my brain that I couldnt hold off reading
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anymore. It was a vital necessity to my success. I soon found myself looking into more difficult
readings such as authors like Christopher Pike and Joshua Davis. Now as a college student my
reading abilities have increased significantly to a much higher understanding.With the help of the
new literacy skills I have learned, such as annotating the reading, summarizing important
paragraphs, and rereading the writings given to obtain a full grasp of it, I have been able to
further my journey to becoming a better student for my educational success. A book I'm currently
reading called Spare Parts by Joshua Davis, portrays the same type of story of success to me.
The four hispanic students are profiled as out of their league at the Marine Advanced Technology
Education Remotely Operated Vehicle Competition, and prove to the judges that a pair of
hispanic students can build an impressive underwater robot used for search and retrieve missions.
As in my own life story, being profiled in school as a dumb and lazy hispanic student, I broke
through that stereotype by getting to college and making my success a priority. Sadly I do not
continue to read for fun, as do I hope to once again branch back into the books I once did enjoy.
My last literacy experience is one that I shall never forget, using it on a commonly day
basis, writing is one of my all time most challenging experiences. Ive always been able to read
and get along with my teachers, but when its come to writing, I feel as alone as a deserted
island. This lonely feeling towards writing consumes my thoughts and causes great friction with
my writing process. My ability to put words together and create these lengthy and detailed
paragraphs used to come at a great struggle because I didnt have motivation to improve my
literacy skills at the time. For example, having to write essays was always a negative experience
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because I never felt comfortable in my ability to write a decent paper. Essays always gave me
such stress due to the fact that I believed I wasnt good enough to get a good grade on my paper.

Now as a college student, my opinions on writing are seen in a much more positive light. I have
now reached that comfortable state of mind where I do see myself having the ability to express
my thoughts on paper, and develop a paper I can be proud of. I was able to feel this sense of
belonging only after putting myself through years and years of experimenting with writing and
trying to find my voice as a writer. I may still have a ways to go but Im well on my way to
becoming a better writer. Having a positive outlook towards learning instead of being down in
the dirt about my abilities gave me growth mindset as Dweck would say, towards my college
courses. Being open to new ideas and ways of doing things can really put a spin on what you
thought was the only way to learn or comprehend something. I also connected my will to learn to
Malcolm Xs driven attitude to learn to properly read and write regardless of the intense prison
life he had to endure on a daily basis. His inspiration taught me that I need to find the ability and
willpower in myself rather than depend on other people to help improve my literacy skills.
Literacy isnt just the ability to read and write, but in the mastery of such and being able
to use it in your writing and reading comprehension. When its come to schools and teachers ive
had a wild ride moving each year and starting off in a new school but ive always done my best
to not fall too behind. As for reading, its been a delight to read some amazing stories but with its
hard times when it came to comprehension. Writing was always the most complicated but with
hard work and perseverance I came out the other end with a better understanding of my writing
style and on what I may still need to improve on. With a bit more of experience under my belt, I
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do indeed hope to use this knowledge to better improve myself as not only a student but as a
writer.