Over the years, my enthusiasm regarding reading and writing has varied from time to time. I remember when I was in love with storytelling, my mother telling my brother, sister and I religious bedtime stories until we fell asleep. Her vivid descriptions, still engraved in my head. As I grew older, I didn’t have time for these stories. I had to wake up early to go to school. I would trace the alphabet, color, run around, and listen to my teacher read Dr.seuss’s “Yertle the Turtle”. Life was simple.
One issue that I have to this day is my handwriting. My brother and sister had neat handwriting, so my mother thought there should be no reason for me to not have neat handwriting. I would spend hours everyday tracing over letters, erasing and rewriting sentences over and over again. I hated it. After my “writing” session, I would read Captain Underpants or Magic School Bus for an hour because of the 100 Book Challenge Program at my school. I was forced to read instead of reading for pleasure. By the time I was done with my studies, my friends would be back from the playground. I grew up despising reading and writing, but I knew it was important, their reason my mother was making me do this.
There was a point in time in which I was reading, writing and speaking in 3 different languages. My desire and interest in writing were depressing once I entered the 6th grade. I would respond to writing prompts that were unattractive and for this reason, I wouldn’t put any effort into any of my work. I thought I would do fine because that’s what I’ve been doing for the past few years, all of my assignments were straightforward and didn’t require thinking. But, I started scoring poorly on all my English assignments and my teacher wasn’t giving me advice. I was supposed to figure it out on my own. What does “Read between the lines mean”, I thought to myself. While I was conflicted with English, I excelled and loved math and science. Math has always been my strong suit. I won multiple math competitions in the 8th-grade and competed in multiple sports, my pictures are still framed up on my middle school walls.
Ms.Ryan, my 8th grade teacher, was the toughest but best English teacher I’ve ever had. The draft I submitted for her first assignment was coated with a thin layer of red ink. Arrows, lines, and zigzags flying all over my page, comments filling the margins and space in between my lines, I felt intimidated. But after looking at everyone’s essay, I could tell Ms.Ryan was a teacher like no other. She cared about her students and made sure all of her students put in 100% just like she did. I could honestly say that I improved in this class more than any other class. The only thing I hated about the class was the 100 Book Challenge Program. I still hated reading and to this day I still do.
Throughout high school, I’ve had both talented and ineffective English teachers. My freshman year class didn’t compose of writing literature, instead we would have arts an craft session, it was like we were back in kindergarten. My school was in Brooklyn, my house was in the Bronx, English was an 8:00 AM class. I decided to stop caring, which was one of my biggest mistakes. Sophomore year came around and I had an amazing, outgoing, and passionate teacher. I enjoyed her enthusiasm and her teaching methods, she made me like admire literature.
I never really had a good relationship with reading and writing. I thought writing my college essay would be a terrible experience. I would have to read the same thing over and over again, look for improvements, edit all of the mistakes and repeat these steps until it was perfect. But, I enjoyed this process, it made me recognize what writing really is. All of the author’s desires, concerns, and passions, everything that made him/her feel angry, love, sorrow, sympathy, shame and joy, all written on a blank piece of paper. It was the first time I wrote my emotions out on a piece of paper for the world to see, choosing the right words to express my feelings and getting into the nitty gritty details made it even more exciting. There are still times where I struggle to express my thoughts in words