Literacy Memoir-25 Ms. Caruso Eng.

1103-032 27 August 2012 Literacy Memoir In high school I had two English teachers and they were the most influential people during the course of my high school career. My first three years in English was taught by the same teacher and she helped me establish the ground work for proper writing skills from grammar, punctuation and sentence structure as well as many other aspects of writing. In the first year of English I saw my writing improve tremendously by the end of the semester. Although I didn’t like my English teacher she always graded fairly and gave the best feedback to assigned writings. Grammar and punctuation were things she graded strictly on and if extra time had to be spent on those areas she would make time for it. Gearing up for the writing test during sophomore year is when my writing began to improve even more. Again I believe my teacher played a big role in this as well. She really broke down the process of mastering this standardized test and spent tons of extra time to get us to be well prepared. Writing wasn’t the only part of English that this teacher influenced me in, reading was also another influential aspect of having her as a teacher. In her class we read lots of different books and novels that I still love to read to day. We really got into a lot of discussion about the topic of a book and how it related to different aspects of school and life. During my junior year of high school I had a different English teacher and her teaching style differed, in a good way, from the teacher I had before. This teacher made writing more emotional and personal especially since we completed the
Comment [BC2]: What was this style? Be specific. Comment [BC1]: Such as?

Graduation Project in her class. Her grading was fair at the same time strict and I respected that. I learned a lot from these two teachers and although I don’t like writing, I enjoy doing it. In my high school I had the opportunity to take college course so I took what the equivalent is to English 1101 and 1102. English 1102 was the most recent previous writing class I’ve taken which was this past spring semester. My experience in this class was very interesting because my professor was by no means normal with all due respect. He was a little different, but an awesome professor; however I didn’t like the class itself. The class was called Argument based Research and over the course of class I don’t really recall what exactly I wrote about. I did well on my assignments, but I never really knew how or what to write. I would say that class wasn’t one of the best writing classes I’ve taken, but I did my best on the assignments. As of right now my stance on reading and writing is pretty good I would say. I actually like to read novels and different books, but writing like I stated before, I’m not really fond of it but I can really come around to enjoying it. The value of reading and writing is very important to me. Reading and writing go hand in hand along with education. I’ve learned a lot through reading books, articles, and journals. I feel like I learn even more when I write my thoughts about different things down on paper because I feel like someone else can learn from that. I see that value of reading and writing today as I continue to grow and learn academically and in my personal life. A lot of the writing I did in high was in response to a prompt and had to be written a certain way with this amount of detail and that amount of golden nuggets etc.,. Not being well versed with this form of writing, I struggled to find my niche. During high school, I had a hard time putting ideas together in general and it would make writing almost impossible for me, and this is where I started to not like writing. I did have good experiences in writing. In my last year of English in high school we wrote poetry and performed some of it in front of the class and for
Comment [BC6]: If you continue to have trouble with this, let me know, and we can work on it. Comment [BC7]: Great! Comment [BC5]: Did you ever ask the teacher any questions? Comment [BC3]: I’m not quite sure I understand this. Comment [BC4]: What types of things did these teachers do? I can see the overall idea, but what about specifics?

the principal. My teacher sometimes allowed us to have a free write where we just wrote on something that we wanted to share or something we felt strongly about. In high school we had to read some works by Shakespeare and I’d have to say that I didn’t like that part of the curriculum. I found that even after trying to break down the language of Shakespeare, it was still very difficult for me to comprehend which made it hard to like. The Scarlet Letter, To Kill a Mockingbird, Beowulf, and The Lord of the Flies were the best novels I’ve ever read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of those books and I’ve even read them again outside of school. I remember liking to write poetry, journals, and reflections the most. I really enjoy reading and writing poetry so whenever we got the chance to write it, I really took advantage of it. In my first year of English in high school my teacher required us to write journals on anything that we wanted to write it on. To me prompted writing can get a little boring and old so writing a journal and getting to choose the topic was a sort of relief from all the structured writing. Whenever a book was read together as a class, my teacher would assign a reflection paper, which was usually short, to see what we got from a certain part of the book. I like writing reflections because I’m writing my thoughts or opinions on something, but then I get to hear what someone else thought about the same thing. My process of writing depends on what I’m writing about and if I have a rubric or not. For a research paper gathering information is the first step to my writing process. I find books, articles, videos or anything else that has all the information I may need. More recently, I’ve tried to start making an outline for my papers regardless of the type of paper it is; I find that to be somewhat helpful most of the time. Rereading and revision isn’t something I do all the time, but I’ve learned to proofread and check back over my work before I hand it in. One thing that I need to change about my writing is waiting until the last minute to start typing a paper. Usually I will
Comment [BC8]: This is something you’ll need to work on.

have everything ready to start typing it, but I won’t actually do it. Having someone help me find a starting place or show me how to find a starting place would make writing easier for me. I struggle with finding a place to start and it frustrates me to a point where I don’t want to write the paper anymore. No length requirement would also make writing easier because sometimes I can’t get to exactly five pages or five and a half. I think sometimes I can write a really good paper, but then I stress too much over how long it is, it kind of takes away from what I’m actually writing. I think this semester hold great things for me academically and socially. This is my first time at a university and I’m looking forward to taking all UNC-Charlotte has to offer. I’m very interested in everything that the school has to offer, but I wouldn’t say I’m scared, maybe nervous but not scared. My hopes for this class are to continue to build better reading and writing skills, learn to love writing, and make good grades. I don’t really have any concerns at this moment.

25 responding to 30 Ms. Caruso September 3, 2012 English 1103-032 Literacy Memoir Response After reading this literary memoir paper, I found that there a lot of aspects that the writer and I share as far as weaknesses and concerns for the class go. The position that the writer took was well organized in the way he or she wanted to present their concerns and past experiences. The writer chose to critique themselves on their strengths and weaknesses. This paper seemed to fit the “little narrative” approach, describing specific events, thoughts and experiences about his or hers previous education in English. In my opinion, I thought that this paper was somewhere in between a success story and a victim’s account for the simple fact that the writer didn’t seem to enjoy any of the writing assignments they were given and there was no influence upon the writer from previous instructors. The writer is valuing the freedom and flexibility that writing can create. The tone and language that the writer chose to take in this memoir creates the idea that there was a lot of thought put into it. I can tell that from the way the writer chose their words, sentence structure, etc. I can tell the writer is serious about fixing the weaknesses expressed in this paper and being successful in this class. From what I’ve read, and because it’s clearly stated in this paper, the writer should focus on building their vocabulary, finding a format that works best for them, and practicing the task of proof reading their work. As for what will help the writer the most this semester in this class is engaging in writing that makes them feel comfortable. As they stated in their memoir writing about boring subjects or topics doesn’t motivate them to do their best work.

Also finding a good format will help the writer be more comfortable while writing and take away some of that stress. Overall, I thought this paper was well written, interesting and honest. The writer definitely spent some amount of time developing their thoughts for this paper.
Comment [BC9]: 

25 responding to 25 Ms. Caruso 5 September 2012 English 1103-032 Literacy Memoir: My Response Reading over this paper I thought the writer did a pretty good job of getting their point across of their background in previous English courses. This was definitely a success story because the writer got all their points across especially the influences that they had in their previous English classes. The writer wrote this paper in “little narrative” format, by describing the specific events and how certain people influenced them throughout their education. The writer used very specific examples to better illustrate their examples. The writer did well putting together their thoughts and organizing the paper. Whether or not this paper was planned out or written as the writer went a long is hard to tell, but either way the paper is well written. The writer values reading and writing to a high regard and states that in the paper. The writer clearly focused on what things he or she needs to focus on as it pertains to writing and this class. The writer stated that having a length requirement sometimes makes it hard for them to concentrate on the more important aspects of writing. Also finding a good place to start is also something the writer should work on getting better at. Maybe improving the planning process of writing will help fulfill both problems that the writer has with length and with finding a place to start. Something that will help the writer most this semester is peer review because they can bounce ideas off other people to further help them develop a good starting place. Overall the writer did well getting across the topic at hand. They could have maybe
Comment [BC10]: While you did tell of specific events, you didn’t describe them to the extent you could have. Allow your reader to understand exactly what happened in your experiences.

organized it a little better and talked about a couple things in greater detail, but overall it was well thought out and detailed.
Comment [BC11]: 

Literacy Memoir Reflection 7 September 2012 Ms. Caruso English 1103-032 Literacy Memoir Overall Reflection Writing my own literary memoir and the response to my own, I felt that I was communicating a pretty good background in English as a whole. Getting down to a deeper scale I examined and portrayed that my writing isn’t perfect and that I have weaknesses in some areas of writing. Going back to ninth grade of high school, my writing as a whole, to me, was horrible and I included that in my paper. I expressed that overtime my writing improved as my teachers had a really positive influence on me which portrayed in my writing. One thing I didn’t mention in paper was how much of a procrastinator I am and how much that affects my writing. I enjoy writing, but sometimes I’m not motivated to sit down and write a paper to my best ability. The tone I chose to use to convey these different experiences was honest. I pointed out my strengths and weakness, likes and dislikes with honesty because I felt like it was fitting for this assignment. In addition to honesty, my tone in my memoir was one of new understandings because as I wrote these experiences of my literacy history it was like I was coming to terms of how I viewed it; I also came to terms with how things actually were. I believe the tones I chose to convey that I’m serious about my past literacy experiences and my future experiences. Although I can be very lazy, I take school very seriously and when it comes to writing I know that I will have to be good at it especially with the field I’m considering going into. The other person viewed my literacy history as a success story and found a couple

similarities between what I wrote and what they wrote. Every point that the person brought up in the response wasn’t new to me, with the exception of the “little narrative” which I did not know that my paper was considered to be that type of narrative. The person that responded to my paper overall agreed with my representation of my specific events. They agreed with most of how I represented my whole paper and even said that my paper was somewhat similar to how theirs’ is. Reading someone else’s memoir, I realized that I shared a lot of the experiences and feelings that the person wrote about in the memoir. I also realized that some of what they said in their memoir I hadn’t expressed in mine. Although some of their experiences were similar, there were also some different experiences that I found to be interesting because I didn’t mention them in my memoir. I thought that stood out significantly. This brings me to things that I’d like to change about how I write. I don’t want to change anything about how I represented myself in the memoir or about my views. I actually want to keep improving my writing and molding myself into a better writer. My attitude towards writing has changed to a point where I like writing, but it’s not something I am thrilled about doing, so I would like to change my outlook on writing. This process did make me realize things I hadn’t realized before, like sometimes I can be lazy when it comes to writing. Now that I’ve reflected on my literacy history and seen my paper from different viewpoints, I do consider myself a writer. After being taught and practicing writing so much, I feel that I can call myself a writer. It would be different if I was still a seventh grade, but now that I’m in college and I see things differently, I think I’ve had enough coaching and experience
Comment [BC12]: Tirzah,

to say I’m a writer.

Whatever happens – if you can or if you can’t stay in the class, I’d like you to challenge yourself to revise more often. It seems like you see the value in it without doing it, and revising can give you a whole new outlook on your writing. -Ms. C