My Literacy Journey

By csweet
  • I am born

    I am born
    I am born to a mother who is a teacher and a father who at the time was a radio DJ with a M.Ed. They begin reading to me often. My father sings to me every night.
  • Period: to

    My Life

  • The Seasons Book

    The Seasons Book
    Mom reports that as a young child I was able to repeat parts of the board book we had about seasons. Neither of us could remember what it was called.
  • Montessori School

    Montessori School
    I go to Montessori school kindergarten. I dislike spending time with the books and prefer to sew pillows and water plants. The teacher sends me home with laminated reading books. I get really frustrated about the word "the" because I cannot sound it out. I tell mom that I do not want to learn to read.
  • 1st Grade

    1st Grade
    I begin going to Brentwood Elementary down the street from my house. I feel good about the reading class because I knew the sounds for vowel pairs and understood compound words from my teacher at Montessori. Mom continues reading to me every night. We like a book called Leo the Lop about a bunny with long, saggy ears. We also like the Little Bear books. Occassionally, I read aloud to her.
  • 2nd Grade

    2nd Grade
    I am placed in a gifted 2nd/3rd split class. I read my first chapter book aloud to my mother, Sarah, Plain and Tall. I like the pioneer stories and begin to read the Little House on the Prairie series during DEAR time. I even dress as a pioneer for Halloween.
  • 3rd Grade

    3rd Grade
    I continue loving the pioneer experience. I have my birthday party in Toad Hall which was a children's bookstore on 38th. It is Little House on the Prairied themed. All the little girls dressed as pioneers, except one who dressed as a Native American. My mother and I read another chapter book together, Journey to Jo'burg.
  • 4th Grade

    4th Grade
    We read Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry in class. I become hooked on the books by Mildred D. Taylor. Her books teach me about America's racist past. Over the next two years, I read all the books she has published at the time.
  • 5th Grade

    5th Grade
    The Legend of the Bluebonnet becomes one of my favorite picture books. My class makes puppets and represents the story through a puppet show. My puppet is an ancestor/ghost puppet.
  • 6th Grade

    6th Grade
    My family moves to Georgetown, TX. I get really into Janis Joplin. I begin wearing panchos and bellbottoms and listen to Janis constantly while laying on my futon. I spend a good deal of time reading Janis Joplin's biography Love, Janis. I even create a picture book about Janis Joplin for a class assignment.
  • 7th Grade

    7th Grade
    My 7th Grade teacher has us read Alas, Babylon and The Hot Zone. Both books make me think the world is going to end and that I'm going to die from radiation or ebola or both. That same teacher also has us work in groups to create a model of a post-apocolyptic bunker in which we would like to live.
  • 8th Grade

    8th Grade
    My 8th grade class reads a book called Jackaroo. I really enjoy the book and read others by the same author. As an end of book project, I write a ballad. I still remember the chorus: "Gwen dressed up as Jackaroo, Poverty she did fight. Gwen dressed up as Jackaroo and rode all through the night, and rode all through the night."
  • 9th Grade

    9th Grade
    We read the Odyssey which I find confusing. We read Shakespeare. I enjoy Romeo and Juliet. I write a paper (which I work really hard on) about the importance of the alliances between the male characters in the Shakespeare plays we've read. The teacher gives me a 69 and writes only "Sounds too bookish." I feel discouraged about analyzing literature.
  • 10th Grade

    10th Grade
    A student teacher reads The Stranger with us. I read very little of the book but pretend I have and work my way through discussions. Sorry, student teacher. I do enjoy the short story All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury.
  • 11th Grade

    11th Grade
    My class reads The Crucible, The Grapes of Wrath and The Great Gatsby. I do not finish or completely read any of them. I still make As in that class. This is the first year in my entire school experience that I take a foreign language. I get sent to the principal's office for the first time ever by my Spanish teacher for laughing about the preterite conjugation of "poner." I learn some songs and rhymes in Spanish.
  • 12th Grade

    12th Grade
    As editor of the school newspaper, I write an editorial piece about how all through high school I had never completely read any of the novels. I am critical of the curriculum because despite not having done the reading I make all As. The head of the English department demands that I print a public apology. The principal says I don't have to. I continue taking the basic Spanish courses. I almost fail Spanish 3.
  • College-Freshman Year

    College-Freshman Year
    For a Freshman writing class, I have to choose a popular movie and explain what the movie says about society. I choose Armageddon and say that the characters represent the current class structure and that Billy Bob Thornton is God. I take a very difficult Spanish course. The teacher is from Spain and at the time was very hard to understand.
  • College-Sophomore Year

    College-Sophomore Year
    I take another difficult Spanish class. The teacher is from Paraguay. As a group project we have to present a fairy tale in Spanish. We are assigned Snow White. One of the group members, who is particularly bad at Spanish, puts all of his lines through an online translator. Our play is a disaster and we all fail the project.
  • College-Junior Year

    College-Junior Year
    This is the first year where I begin to enjoy reading and writing in Spanish. We read the plays of Federico Garcia Lorca and the poems of Ruben Dario. I enjoy writing literary responses to these pieces. In a Social Inequalities class, I read the book Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? I write a paper examining my own racial identity. The summer after my junior year, I do a study aboad stint in Guadalajara. I am enthralled with Mexican history.
  • College-Senior Year

    College-Senior Year
    I work on the NBC affiliate as a journalist. But I hate it. I enjoy my Revolutionary Literature class, especially the section on the Mexican Revolution. I love the book Cartucho. I spend a lot of time volunteering with elementary-aged bilingual students in an after-school program. There is no bilingual education in the town I am in and the students struggle in school. The summer after my senior year, I finish my degree in Madrid.
  • I begin teaching 4th Grade

    I begin teaching 4th Grade
    I start teaching 4th grade at Metz Elementary. I do most of my reading from young adult novels in English and Spanish: Dear Mr. Henshaw, Sarah, Plain and Tall, Shiloh, Esperanza Rising, Seedfolks, etc.
  • Now!

    I have to do a lot of academic reading for grad school.