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Life Story
Mikayla Kwan
ED3505: ABC

I have always seen myself as a math person. I excelled in mathematics throughout
grade school and thoroughly enjoyed it. However, I always had an appreciation for language,
reading and writing fostered by my early experiences. I enjoyed reading throughout elementary
school and fondly remember Star Reading tests being a point of achievement and motivation.
My writing improved throughout middle school and I enjoyed the process of writing in high
school. As I embarked into university, I did not take a specific language course but I enjoyed
reading and writing for my humanities classes such as Sociology and Religious Studies. My
journey continues into the teaching profession as I hope to learn how to integrate language into
my mathematics teaching.

My childhood was rich with stories. I was fortunate to have parents that valued the
importance of reading to me as a young infant as well as enriching my life with imagination. I
remember as a toddler and young child requesting stories off the top of your head; these
stories were short and spontaneous but enriched my life with language, often while passing
time. My listening skills were harnessed during these experience. Once I was older, I began
reciting stories off the top of my head to my younger sister which made me feel proud and
accomplished. The frequency of which I was read to is something that many children are not
fortunate to experience and I believe that this practice influenced not only my literary skills but
also my general intelligence.

When it came to reading, I am not exactly sure when I began to read; my parents are
unsure as well. Nonetheless, I do remember utilizing phonics software of some variety to begin
to learn how to read and write. I believe that my use of phonics did assist in my development. I
remember being a fan of Robert Munsch, ordering as much as I could from Scholastic Reading

orders and even received an anthology for Christmas. Throughout elementary it was always a
goal to do better on your STAR reading test and have your reading level classified as above
grade level. Now, I do not believe that this was an entirely accurate way of judging our language
and reading levels, however it did give students motivation to focus on their reading.

As I got older and my reading skills developed, I became interested in the Dear Canada
series, partially because of the historical context and my ability to relate to the age of the first
person speaker. I was intrigued by the history and I believe I enjoyed reading them because
there was dual purpose in my reading. In middle school, novel studies became the norm as a
way to utilize reading, writing, listening and even speaking. One novel study I recall is on a book
I did twice, The Giver. During grade six, this novel was read to the class and we did projects and
assignments based off the readings. At this time, I did not appreciate the novel, partially I
believe because of my moral development. I later read the book as a part of studying dystopian
literature in the eighth grade. The second time around, I appreciated the book much more as I
was able to make sense of some of the moral conflicts that occur in the novel. More focus was
focussed on analyzing the dystopian culture and comparing to other pieces of literature
including Lord of the Flies and 1984.

As I progressed through into high school, I began to use literature to influence larger
contexts. I recall studying To Kill a Mockingbird in grade ten and then utilizing the time period
to create a project around the origins of blues music. I appreciate using literature as a starting
point to learn about something completely different. Utilizing what I read into a visual
representation strengthen the relationship between different aspects of language; this practice
of utilizing visual representations continued throughout high school. In high school, my teacher
was fantastic. She reinvigorated my interest in English by adding another layer to the study of
literature: literary theories. I remember studying Shakespeare from a feminist theory
perspective and psychosocial perspective. The use of these theories allowed for a deeper
understanding of the literature and a greater interest in it. The final book I read in high school

was Truth and Bright Water by Thomas King. I really appreciated this book because of the
realistic content and age of the characters.

Through recalling my literary past, I have noticed a pattern of appreciation for novels
that are also based in some sort of context or history and I believe that by relating literature to
something else, I have been able to draw greater appreciation.

Since I began university, my motto has been, I only read textbooks. Due to my interest
in Religious Studies, not all my books have been traditional textbooks but I have read novels
and more story-like books for classes. However, I have tried to continue reading for pleasure. I
have found myself beginning JK Rowlings, The Cuckoos Calling, multiple times, often
forgetting about the book and then losing my place. When I do read, I enjoy books with a
mysterious element to them or have historical roots. I have discovered through that my use of
other Language Arts has increased. I utilize listening on a daily basis as listening and
comprehending in lectures is imperative to university success. My use of writing is frequent
through reports, essays and research papers and even though I am a Math major, I enjoy the
process of writing. The creative energy required and the ability to produce a piece of literature
is a very rewarding experience. Viewing is done in the forms of documentaries and films that
enhance the learning experience. As I progress through Education facility I am sure my use of all
the Language Arts will increase.

Looking to the future, I hope to show my students how even if you are a math
person, the use of language and literary is important to well-rounded education. There are
many ways to integrate language into mathematics and I hope to utilize this to the fullest. I
developed different interests in history and literature through my early adolescence and I
believe this shows another connection you can make in language in order to reach a larger
audience. As an educator I hope to give my students options for language and literature in my
class no matter the grade or subject manner I may be teaching.