Addie's Literacy History

My unique literacy story

For as long as I remember, my mother read aloud to me.

She is a very educated woman that loves to read and learn new things, so it was just natural that she shared her love for literature with my siblings and me. She was the first one to expose me to reading.

She read everything you could think of.

My mom not only read fun stories and books to me, but also what I considered boring and useless at the time. As 4 or 5 year old girl I was not too interested in what the daily newspaper had to say, but mom didn't care she read it to me anyway. She believed all reading was important and I honestly think that is what has shaped my love to be up to date and read the newspaper as an adult. Along with the current events, my mother enjoyed reading me stories from the Bible and books the provoked emotion whether that be sadness, laughter, or frustration she read it, but I just think that was the counselor coming out in her! When I started school my mom never slowed down reading with me, but as I started to dip my toes into the literacy world our roles changed and I started to do the reading and she became the listener.

From top of my class to failing my Achievement test

The embarrassment stopped me from reading

5th - 8th Grade

I stopped reading. I hated it. I can't remember any book that I even thought about reading. I refused to even think about it. Every assignment that consisted of a lot of reading I just Sparknoted or asked a friend about. If we it was time to read out loud in class I would get up and go to the restroom or nurse. I was terrified to read in front of people because I now struggled and stumbled over my words while reading. What once helped me shine now made my look stupid. I squeaked by with B-'s or C's and did what I to do to passed, but secretly hated even the thought of reading. My parents weren't stupid and finally caught on to all my tricks. They hired a private tutor to come into our home, so I wasn't embarrassed, and to help me read. I worked a little with her but still didn't finding any joy from reading and gave up.

5th Grade

I remember so clearly receiving my first book report and it terrified me. Mrs. Daily was my teacher at the time and she allowed us to choose our own books. I wasn't stupid, so I chose the same book as all of my friends. We all decided to read "A Wrinkle in Time", well they decided to read it and I decided I was just going to listen to their discussions about it. Since reading didn't come easy to me I decided just not to do it. I found ways of squeaking by and doing the bare minimum to receive a B- or C in the class. I received a B+ on that book report, thanks to my creativity and my smart friends.

6th Grade

Mr. Ricker was my first male teacher that thoroughly enjoyed reading sports reports and boring guy stuff to the class. This just confirmed my belief that reading was boring and useless. He also read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen and Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. To this day I couldn't tell you what either of the books were about, except that there was a dog that dies in Where the Red Fern Grows and it made me cry. Mr. Ricker was not a very exciting or enthusiastic reader and did not keep my attention very long. He didn't have fun while reading and didn't care if the class was sleeping while he was reading. Having a teacher like this only encouraged me not to read even more than before.

7th & 8th Grade
In 7th and 8th grade I started to find ways around reading the full books. Sparknotes became my best friend and the red marking on my papers started to read "Explain more" or "More detail". I knew that Sparknotes weren't going to get me an A in the grade book but it would get me a B. Since I had already developed a hatred and laziness for reading I quite frankly didn't care if I got the A because I was okay with the B. Now that I look back I did just as much work finding the 'lazy/easy' way around doing my work and I missed out on so really great stories.

High School - College

As far as high school went, I pulled the same tricks as I did in middle school. I still no longer saw the need to read if I could just SparkNote everything and get a decent grade. The only difference in high school was that I actually picked up books up outside of school. I really enjoyed reading at my own pace and own interests. Am I still terrified to read out loud in front of a class? Of course I am because I'm not a very fluent reader, but I am slowly getting better and more confident. And yes, I am almost 20 and mom will still occasionally read to me.


High School

In high school I took the easiest reading classes that were offered. I just wanted to credit to graduate without having to read and put much work into it. By the end of high school I hated the names John Steinbeck and Shakespeare. I remember reading Huckleberry Finn, The Scarlet Letter, Romeo and Juliet, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Well let me rephrase that, I remember discussing and Sparknoting those book. All through high school and I was okay with a B or C and not doing much work. I read two books in high school and they were read on the outside of school. Those books were A Child Called "It" and The Shack, both of which triggered a lot of emotion. I absolutely love both of these book and actually read them multiple times. I learned that if I found books that provoked emotion in me I could put them down. I actually started to realize why people would ever read for 'fun'.

College
I soon found out that there is no Sparknotes for college text books and that it was and absolute requirement to read what is assigned. I also figured if I didn't read that's not only affecting me, but also my wallet. I learned to force myself to read what I was assigned. Am I going to lie and say that as soon as I started college I developed a love for reading. Absolutely not. I hope that someday I can say that, but as of now it's not the truth. These days I read what I HAVE to and have no time or interest to read for my own pleasure. I wish I was one of those people that could escape through a novel, but I'm not. Maybe someday I will though, until then million dollar college text books it is.