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For me, learning to read and write was long and felt like a drag to me; I took reading and writing for granted and never thought of the great advantages that every book had. It all started at home when I was five years old and my mom was teaching me how to write my name. In my head, I had trouble understanding on what I wrote but as far as I know that was my name.
Finally the day came and it was time for me to go to school. I was scared; I did not know where I was, and I did not know a single word in English.
There was no way my mom would stick me in an English classroom. They moved me to a Spanish one; there I had a more clear idea of what I was learning. The teacher was a sweet, calm lady; she had patience with bad writing, to this day I have not figured out whether she understood it or not.
Once I learned my ABC’s here came the small words of animals and things like for example “oso” which means bear in Spanish. Learning to read and write seamed so boring.
I had to sit down and do homework which required my attention, but I preferred to draw and play. Learning was torture; I would read very slowly, even when I tried to read those small picture books for small kids, I was useless by that time.
In second grade I had a fair level of Spanish reading, but what was difficult for me was to learn English and it it took me two days to learn the ABC’s in English. I understood nothing of writing English. My teacher started giving me small lessons on it; I loathed English so much I wanted to give up.
In fourth grade, I started to write essays that took me forever, and I was so deeply embarrassed, because I would get my papers basically all in red of corrections. As time passed I hated books more and more, every time I would have to read I would get pissed or thought, “oh great… more reading. ” I needed to change. I am not very sure how the change occurred but I know it happened; it was about ninth grade and gave a few novels a chance, which I read in my spare time. I got so attached, my mind and imagination opened to
a whole new dimension, I was static. I do not know how I could have detested books all my life. They were like movies but even better because my imagination could extend and create even better recreations of the scenes. I did not know until then how much I had truly missed out in. since then on I would try to read as many novels or books I could possibly devour. Reading was nothing for me. I had to struggle past my emotions in order to learn. In the end I saw what I was missing out in, which was the pleasure of simply reading.
On this term, I have been more of an active reader and writer than I have been previously. I felt like I have strengthened the basics and feel more comfortable on approaching essays and reading material. One thing I did enjoy about the class was the group games; I had fun and got to meet other classmates while competing with the classroom. Though the summer term was difficult, I have managed to pull through all my classes. I hope to attend your class next term if possible and continue my skills as a writer.
I have memories of me, an excited little kid looking forward to my grandmother visiting my family. Every night, I would be waiting in bed for my grandmother to come knocking on my bedroom door. She would pop her head in and ask if she could come in and read me a book. This was our routine before she put me to sleep. She would ask me to choose a book.
We have many books in the house as my mother and sister are avid readers. My mother still has books she used to read as a child growing up. She has passed on all the books to my sister and I. My favorite book then was Mr. Topsy Turvy, from the Little Men series.
Looking back at these deeply missed memories when I was about 3 or 4 years old, my grandmother would patiently read to me with the most enthusiasm I have ever seen just to make my reading experience more enjoyable. For example, if there was a knock on the door in the story, she would represent that by knocking on my bed frame. She would continue telling the story with the necessary dramatics and intonation to bring the story to life. She wanted and tried to make reading as interesting as possible to nurture my reading habit.
My next milestone in the English language came along some months later. I had progressed to reading books independently. I started with the Peter and Jane Ladybird series. Now I would read to my grandmother to practice my reading skills. I tried to imitate her by acting out certain scenes of the story. She would also take turns to read to make the whole activity more exciting. At this point in time, I truly felt that reading could be something I would really enjoy.
Around the age of 10, going into Year 5, my comprehension of the English language became more mature. However, I started to gradually dislike reading as the work in class made me look at reading differently. It started when I had my first major assignment to write an essay explaining what happened in the book of Varjak Paw by S. F. Said. I found it terribly boring and too long-winded. At that point in time, I would be cursing if we were made to read a book in class. It was also very hard for me to find a book that I was genuinely interested in. I know there were many authors and series out there but I was not attracted to anything in particular.
Now I like autobiographies. The book I like is The Operator but Robert O’Neill. It’s an amazing account of a SEAL Team Operator who is the author himself. It describes his time in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is an interesting account of his life and experiences.
I admit that I am not a keen reader, unlike my sister but I do realize the importance of reading and I need to improve my vocabulary.
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