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Jessica Hendley Professor Rieman English, 1103 September 14, 2011

Writing this paper was very different from other assignments that I have received. This project was not a research paper which allowed me to bring my own opinion and feelings into my writing. I personally like my paper, it may not be greatest paper written but it allows me to review myself as a literate individual and how my past can help others. My strengths of the paper can be seen in my description of the Little Narratives and I feel like I tie in each story to the purpose of the paper. I want to explain why I put so much detail into the description of my Saturday morning .My mom is the most important person in my life and she had such a great influence on my life. My mother gave me every opportunity to succeed in my literacy journey but still I had problems comprehending .I feel like these situations will help me become a better teacher in the end. My weakness is that I may have some unnecessary details in the story .Overall, I pleased with my paper after a few more revision I think I will add this paper to my writing portfolio. Emerging Literacy Literacy can be defined in so many ways because it can be so different for so many people. For a car mechanic, being literate in car parts would be necessary and more relevant than being able to read Shakespeare. A person that is in an academic field may need to have a different type of literacy to build their career and knowledge. For both of these careers the definition for sponsors can be fitting for both occupations. The individuals that influence the


mechanics are considered sponsors for their literacy, individuals that help to understand and advance in their course of study. This means that their sponsors of literacy can be defined by Debra Burts definition states any agents, local or distant, concrete or abstract, who enable, support, teach, model, as well as recruit, regulate, suppress, or withhold literacyand gain advantage by it in some way (Brandt 166). This definition can be is also fitting for my life as well this brings me to where I found my place in literacy. I dont know the day, time, place, or how I learned to read. I do remember where I spent my Saturdays when I was not at my grandmas house. My mom would gently wake me up and I knew the routine. Soul music playing in the background, windows open to bring in the sunshine, and a light scent of lemon from dusting the bookshelves filled the small house that resembled a cottage. By the front door a stack of books piled high from our last visit. After watering the zinnias in the front yard, we would load the car with the books and head to our library. When entering the library my mom would take a deep breath, as though the smell of books fed her hunger for knowledge. A quality now that I am glad was passed down to her children. Being greeted with smiling faces of the elderly librarians in the childrens section made my struggle with reading much easier. On this trip to the library my mission was to find a book about Mae Jemison for a project for my third grade class. I started my project early because both my mom and I realized it would take me longer than the other students to finish. Since I was in third grade most of the students at my small private school were reading at a fourth or fifth grade reading level. I was going to make this the best project I would do to show myself, my mom, and my teacher that the extra tutoring and trips to library were really helping me read like the rest of the class. Sitting on the reading rug in the library with books surrounding me, I remember browsing the books, coming across a word I did not know, and sounding out each letter like I was taught--


trying out each vowel to decipher between short and long sounds. I did this often. Hours passed and when it was time for check out both my mom and I would leave with a stack of books. Every day after that I would come home from school, finish my homework to the best of my ability saving the stuff I needed help with for after dinner so my mom could help me once she got home from her two jobs- and working diligently on my project. I remember learning so much about the first black female astronaut. My mom made me write so many rough drafts of my paper, making sure I got it right. By the final draft every T was crossed, and every I dotted. But my project was far from over. The next steps would involve making my project unique and different. You see, one of the requirements of the project was to present your project to the class. Talking and communicating has always been one of my strong suits. As part of our usual routine on Saturdays we were heading back to the library the next week, and I was on a search to find a book to make my project great. While browsing the books I found a book about making costumes. My mind was bursting thought bubbles. Along with preparing a biography of Mae Jameson with all the books I used from the library, I decided to build my own paper astronaut suit for my project. Building this astronaut suit allowed me to show my different definitions of literacy. Many people think literacy can only be described as in academic terms but for me adding creativity to my project allowed me to show of my literacy in a different form. Finally after memorizing my speech, drying the props and cutting the outfits, and double-checking my paper, I was ready to show off all of my hard work. All of the other students that went before me were doing the typical presentation of a project when my turn came I stood in front of the class with my props and outfits and a sense of confidence that I did not feel very often in school. I presented my project with ease, telling all I learned about Mae Jameson and what we all can learn from her. My teacher was so proud I earned an A but more than that,


looking back, I learned that I could be a good reader- it would just take a little more practice. The best part was the feeling of accomplishment and success. Even though I thought I had made progress in my journey through reading and writing, I was shut down by my fifth grade teacher. I felt like I was less than everyone in my class, as if the teacher singled me out and pointed out every mistake I made to the class. If she was not calling my mom to complain that I was getting distracted in class, failed a test, or did not complete my homework correctly then I was being called to her desk to discuss these issues. I remember we would read books in class in a circle on the floor and she would call on students to read.I felt as if she would call on me to read the hard parts and would call out all my mistakes. I was never on the honor roll, I never received straight As , and I had trouble concentrating. Finally, one day I came to class completely prepared. I was not too nervous to read in front of the class and I remember reading with confidence after reading a passage from the certain passage with more ease than usual. All my fifth grade teacher seem to be able to do was point out that I pronounced a word wrong. In a way this angered me and made me happy that the only mistake she was able to find was a pronunciation problem but I was angry that there was no positive feedback. This obstacle allowed me to find a new technique when I am reading, before I read aloud to a group I like to read over all the text .First ,this gives me a confidence boost. When I look back on this situation I realize that my fifth grade teacher was a sponsor of my literacy , I am realizing I can take her negative teaching styles and learn what not to do when I become a teacher. My goal as a teacher is not to make my students feel inferior to each other but for them to learn their strengths and weaknesses and show them how they can use these qualities to help the greater group .


Days, months, and years passed and I am standing in front of my whole congregation. Nervous as can be, I close my eyes and take a deep breath and start to read a Reading from the Gospel of Matthew My level and confidence in my reading abilities have changed by great lengths since the third grade. I was being asked to read in front of my whole church family, I was asked to proclaim the word of the Lord. This was a great accomplishment for me since I was a new Catholic. Literacy took a different form for me in my life. I wanted to become literate in my religion. I wanted to understand everything about Catholicism since I was the only one in my family. I need to be able to answer every question and clear any doubt it my family and peers minds. By being able to proclaim the Word of the Lord and understand it was an important step in my religious journey. This filled me with more joy and peace then getting an A on any paper, I was able to proclaim the word of the Lord, and I was able to perform in high school. In high school I would pride myself in my ability to read quickly and understand. I think the tutoring helped me to become the educated women I am today. I was able to understand that people from different backgrounds and life journeys maybe introduce to literacy differently. They can have multiple sponsors of literacy , and how they use their literacy can be different. When I become a teacher I want to be a person that helps to light a fire for literacy within my students. I want to inspire my students to inspire others. If I can accomplish this goal then all my hard work would have paid off.


Work Cited Brandt, Deborah. Sponsors of Literacy. College Composition and Communication. 49.2 (1998): 165-85. Print.