Corriher 1 Jonathan Corriher Dr.

Jan Reiman English 1103 December 5 2010 Loony Ludicrous Loops of Lifelong Literacy Considering where I began with this paper I believe I did pretty well. As always with more time I could have definitely improved. I know where my writing currently is, and I also know where I want my writing to be. I really enjoyed the peer revision and I think it helped because my peers are definitely better writers than myself. They were able to not only amend grammatical mistakes but also posed different routes my paper could take. For example, Erika assisted me in my organizing this paper. Making me realize that I needed a much greater focus on my sponsors and where this focus should be placed. I would have spent more time on planning everything out. Making an outline or some sort of template before writing this paper would have probably been beneficial. Planning a paper is something I have never practiced but at this point in my academic career it seems necessary. Continually practicing my old habits and rituals obviously is no longer satisfactory. The World English Dictionary defines literacy as the ability to use language proficiently . Being able to express thoughts, feelings, and ideas more effectively and efficiently is the basic goal of any education. Every college student is capable of expressing their ideas, but all to a different extent. These different levels are due to student s access and individual sponsors of literacy. Literacy affects everyone s lives, whether positively or negatively. Literacy is without a doubt a tremendous factor in failure or success. Affected my life in a 1

Corriher 2 tremendous way; literacy has allowed me to grow mentally, being more capable of understanding the world around me. I am currently realizing what a tremendous impact literacy has made on my life and this is my reflection on how this impact began and how my sponsor s assisted me along the way. My literacy began at a very young age, being competitive by nature I always wanted to be the best at everything. Attempting to be not only the most accurate, but the fastest to complete a given task always intrigued me. I think competitiveness and my personal drive is a major contributor to my achieving the level of success I have experienced thus far. This competitiveness may have hindered my literacy also cause not only did I want to excel in the classroom but in athletics as well. Therefore, instead of focusing this competitiveness solely on academics, much of it was exerted on the various playing fields. This may have lead me astray of my studies, but it did keep my competitive nature alive and well. In my early education I had the prototypical southern upbringing. I went to preschool at my local church, where I learned the basics. I had an above average access to books and learning tools because of going to preschool. My parents never distracted me from reading but they were never the parents to shove a book in my face. My parents ran a successful restaurant in the small town of Rockwell, North Carolina. My mother handled the financial aspects while my father did the cooking and the public relations side of the business. The restaurant commanded a large amount of their time so while they were at work and I was not in school I would go to a babysitter who was a middle-aged woman named Gina. I consider Gina a sponsor of my literacy because she was the first person to introduce me to reading. I

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Corriher 3 had learned the alphabet and read children s books while in pre-school, but never to the extent I experienced with Gina. I would arrive at her home bright and early every week day morning throwing tantrums because I did not like Gina because of her strict, controlling demeanor. I hated being confined to a home with a small yard every single day. Gina took my energy and slowly and methodically channeled it towards reading. She began this process by forcing me to read a few sentences before each meal or snack (knowing I would do just about anything for food). Eventually I was reading paragraphs and pages in order to receive time to be spent outside. I believe this is where the speed factor came into play. The faster I finished my reading the faster I was allowed to go outside. Before I knew it I found myself reading small books for fun. Enjoying every aspect of reading, if I was not outside playing I was sitting on the couch reading. As I grew older I eventually moved away from Gina and moved on to attend Knollwood elementary and there I really began to separate myself from the other students. I flourished there simply because of the school s AR (accelerated reading) program. This program combined both competition and reading. After reading a book from the school library students would take a test on the plot via computer. The more questions the students got correct during these tests the more points they received and the computer compiled these scores. Through this program I not only would be able to learn to read better, my accomplishments would be recognized which really intrigued me. The top ten readers in the school would have their names and point totals displayed for all to see at the end of the year. This would allow me

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Corriher 4 to receive recognition for my accomplishments and validate what I thought to be true, that I was smarter then my peers. Reading more and accumulating more points than anyone in the school, I would be known as the best . So I read my little heart out just dreaming of the day my name would be on the wall in front of everyone else. Not only did the school in general inspire me to read, but my 3rd grade teacher influenced me in a very positive way as well. Her name was Mrs. Ingle, I am not sure what she saw in me, (I was always in trouble in my younger years), but for some reason she would always push me harder than the other students. Later informing Duke Tip program of my abilities. This program is sponsored by Duke University and is an acronym for Talent Identification Program . Every year Duke holds different seminars and sessions the chosen students are able to attend, all pertaining to different academic subjects. I never attended any of these seminars but by simply being referred to such a program, showed me that someone other than myself thought I was different . This really made me want to work even harder towards my pursuit of greater literacy and greater recognition. These two sponsors influenced me in a more than adequate way. Instilling in me, the drive to do more then expected, going beyond what teachers asked of me. This influence was evident years later when I applied and interviewed for the opportunity to attend the Martha Guy Business Institute after my junior year of high school. I wanted to take my education to the next level while simultaneously receiving recognition once selected for the program. I undoubtedly had an above average access to literacy growing up; despite this I still find myself unsatisfied as I recollect. In retrospect I wish I had expanded

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Corriher 5 my literacy to be able to speak another language. I know that is a rarity amongst people my age and a lot to ask of my parents to provide, therefore I hope to allow myself that opportunity at some point in the future. Yet another aspect of my education I wish I could alter would be the overall curriculum I was exposed to during my middle and high school years. I attend Western Alamance High School in Burlington, North Carolina which was a member of the Alamance Burlington School system. This being a system that never challenged me academically; suppressing my natural abilities by keeping my learning pace on par with all other students. With age, school became too easy, I could no longer find a reason to push myself. I lost my competitive nature and really stopped working altogether. I no loner cared about my grade point average, I could easily make B s in honors classes. A mediocre grade became satisfactory with me. I wish I had attended a private school, which often provides students with a much more rigorous curriculum. After Mrs. Ingle I found it difficult finding a teacher I felt comfortable with. I never found these teachers engaging enough to create a desire to learn. My high school teachers would always tell me You are smart, but lazy . That really bothered me, because to an extent it was true, but there was nothing I could do in order to change. It is obvious that literacy has played a major role in my life thus far, whether I realized it or not. I am now aware that literacy is the key to opening the doors of success, without this key you cannot grow or achieve any higher level of success. I cannot wait to see where literacy and my growth within takes me.

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