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Kaylee Miller Professor Jan Rieman English 1102 February 2, 2011 In writing my paper I had to map out who my sponsors were and what were literacies I had that stood out the most to me. It was very difficult to not get carried away with writing about the particular interest but to relate it to Brandt¶s definition of literacy. I also struggle with writing conclusions to papers and I feel that my conclusion to this paper is not great, but I am having trouble figuring out a smooth way to wrap it up. My peers were very helpful in pointing out information I missed and giving tip in order to make it better. While I do not feel that this was my best work, I am happy with the overall draft. World of Literacy Deborah Brandt defined a sponsor of literacy as ³any agent local or distant, concrete or abstract, who enable, support, teach, model, as well as recruit, regulate, suppress, or withhold literacy- and gain advantage by it in some way´ (Brandt 407). My interpretation of Brandt¶s definition is that a sponsor is someone or something that teaches you a language or introduces you in to a culture that you can only learn by being taught with their help and by immersing yourself in to the literacy. There is not only reading and writing literacy, but a person can have literacies in many different fields. According to Brandt, literacy is a given fluency in an area. People can be literate in sports, art, music, as well as the literacies in their community or household. A sponsor introduces and teaches a literacy, by doing so they increase their
community and may learn new things about the literacy that they had not already known. Throughout my life I have been introduced in to a variety of literacies and interests. Some of the primary areas that I am literate in is softball and in the agriculture community. I have had a variety of sponsors who introduced me in to these communities and helped me to become literate in each of them. One of my most proficient literacies that I share with my family is in softball. In order to fully understand what is going on in the softball world and what people are talking about you have to be a part of it. My parents got me involved in playing tee ball when I was five and then softball when I was seven. They coached me when I was younger and paid for me to take hitting lessons and travel when I was older. My mom and dad were my primary sponsors for my literacy in softball. They provided the means by which I needed to grow and learn. At tournaments my dad talked to coaches and other parents who introduced him to new teams and gave him tips on helping us improve. His outgoing personality and willing to approach people helped us find out about better teams and various opportunities to improve and play at a higher level. Along with my parents I played and worked with several different coaches of different backgrounds throughout my softball career. Monty Sherrill is considered one of the best high school softball coaches in the state and in 2006 his former team, Central Cabarrus Vikings, were ranked number one in the nation. By going to Coach Sherrill¶s camps and knowing him and the team, personally, I learned even more aspects of the game. Most people would not know what it means to ³bat wrap´ or what ³bat lag´ meant unless they were a part of the softball community that grew up with the techniques Coach Sherrill taught. My younger sister and I played on various teams which helped us get to know more people in the softball community. By having these connection within the sport we were able to learn more about getting help to improve and
who we needed to know in order to go to college or find a new team. All of the news and events are spread by word of mouth or posted on message boards. The way to get in to college is to email coaches, attend camps, play for the right tournament teams, and show you strengths on the field in showcase tournaments. You have to know how to work the system and who to talk to in order to get where you want to go. Personally, I realized after several injuries and putting most of my life into softball that playing college ball was not for me. My overall literacy of the softball world comes from what the various sponsors I had introduced me to in the world of softball. This spring I will begin playing for UNCC¶s club softball team. UNCC has became a sponsor to me by offering clubs and funding the expenses for me to play. Softball is my passion and without the amazing sponsors I had I would have never succeeded as well as I did in the sport. Another literacy I have is in agriculture because of the FFA. The FFA, formerly known as Future Farmers of America, is the largest student organization in the country that educates students about agriculture and provides leadership and career experience opportunities. As a former FFA officer at my high school I got to learn a lot about the agriculture opportunities and issues going on in the world. At FFA Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana I was introduced to problems the agriculture community was facing and how the FFA was taking their part in helping improve conditions for farmers, as well as educating citizens on where their food comes from. By having a literacy sponsored by the FFA I not only know the background behind the famous blue jackets, but I also have been given the opportunity to learn about the new technologies being used to improve the food supply and how farms operate. A particular issue that appeals to me is how the animal rights groups fight to set regulations for farmers when it comes to using animal products and caring for animals. Most animal rights activists have a lot of
criticism for the farming community; however, they do not have a true insight on how farms operate. After becoming active in the FFA I have learned enough about farming to factually back up my argument against many of the animal rights groups. For example, at the FFA National Convention in 2009 Mike Rowe, host of ³Dirty Jobs´, explained how animal rights groups had set standards for the correct way to calfstrate sheep. According to P.E.T.A, the farmer needed to rubber band the sheep¶s testicles so that they would eventually fall off. The farmer that Mike worked with demonstrated this technique and then went on to show his own way, which was chopping off the sheep¶s testicles. The sheep that with the rubber band hovered in a corner and could not walk; however, the other sheep went back to eating and walking around as it had before. Not only did this give me an example to back up my argument against animal rights group, but I also learned that what is ³by the book´ is not always what is best. The FFA along with the advisors and people I have met in the agriculture community has taught me and showed me more information about what we eat and how complicated the agriculture system is. I am a proud member of Hickory Ridge¶s FFA Alumni Organization and hope to play my part in the agriculture community some day. Although, these are two of my main literacies there are many other communities and things that I am literate in. I also hope to learn about new things and become literate in other areas as I grow older. Whether a person is literate in art, playing an instrument, or in communicating within their community, we all have literacies that make us unique as well as bring us together. Our different literacies, and the sponsors who gave us the knowledge of them, shaped the people we are today and by learning new literacies we are growing in to the people of tomorrow.
Work Cited Brandt, Deborah. ³Sponsors of Literacy.´ Writing about Writing: A College Reader. Eds. Wardle and Downs. Boston: Bedford, 2011. 406-26. Print.
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