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Wa1

My history in literacy may have been less wordy than most. That is, it is hard to say in words what
sometimes pictures mean to me. To define what I believe literacy to be I will say that, in my views,
literacy is my ability to understand the nonverbal communication of others. In the following paragraphs
I will transcribe not only my earliest to most present memories of grasping my own literacy and that of
others, but also more on my theory of literacy.

Literacy in my world has and always will be encompassed in line. As a child I think literacy first
stepped into my life as pictures and symbols disconnected from words. I understood the meaning of
the great golden arches drawing me towards my Kids Meal, bathroom signs never confounded me, and
the sun and grass and sky could be drawn around the magical house symbol I would place on the page
wishing for happy days at home with my mother and father holding hands. These non verbal lines of
logos and symbols were akin to hieroglyphics in my young mind. They talked me through the world
and also allowed me to respond to it. For example, if a person drew a very jagged line, could people not
perceive from this that the person were either excited or angry? Now if the same person was to draw a
rolling gentle wave which was then given consideration, would people not infer that the person was
calm and happy? Can these lines not speak to you just as loudly as words?

As the years passed and I stepped through the stages of childhood development and learned the
academic nonverbal traditions of reading and writing, my early love of the symbolic hieroglyphics
seemed to cling to me with ever persistent strength. In classes beside my words I would draw lines
forming pictures to complete them in my mind. I was a child who could remember a symbol faster than
a phrase. The projects I always loved in class involved crayons and the ability to make things that stood
for the material we were studying. The practice of doing this seemed to engrave the very words of the
subject upon my memory. Even now as an artist I am dealing more with visual communication than
verbal or even written. The act of creating a visual message is much more appealing than that of a
white paper written essay.

Now why is it that the nonverbal symbols made of lines resonated deeper with me communication
wise? Could it be my over active right brain? Why does literacy to me mean images not words? I think
it all comes down to me being raised as a more visual learning. As a child my mother signed to me, the
would also use things such as vitamins and other objects to help me learn numbers and addition and
subtraction. For these facts and the ones above in the other paragraphs I believe my theory of a more
visual literary history stands strong.