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Published by kiara terry, 2019-11-12 11:37:01

Narrative Essay

Narrative Essay

Terry 1

Kiara Terry
Professor LaFever
WRD 103
23 September 2019

The Truth About Reading and Writing
I hate this class. Quite frankly, I only enrolled considering it's a requirement for
graduation. The funny part is that my feelings towards the course didn't derive from any
extraneous reasons besides the fact that I simply don't like reading or writing. What's even
funnier is that 7th grade Kiara embodied the complete opposite of the Kiara writing this literacy
narrative. As a 12-year-old, I found myself infatuated with everything about reading and writing.
There'd be nights where I would lose sleep, and get in trouble for staying up too late with my
head in a book unable to put it down, knowing I'd regret it in the morning. Simultaneously, I
excelled in all of my writing classes, by virtue that with every paper I wrote I found myself
engulfed in the prompt and able to express myself freely through writing. Sadly that's not the
case anymore, but in order for you to truly understand my anecdote, we might as well start from
the beginning.
"Kiara dear, how are you coming along with your reading for this week?" Said Mrs.
Pippen, my 2nd-grade teacher.
"Awesome, never better!" I said barely moving my eyes away from the book at the time I
was reading, ​Flipped​ by Wendelin Van Draanen. Mrs. Pippen understood my attentiveness was
diverted elsewhere and didn't take offense to me continuing to read. Instead, she smiled and
seemingly walked back to her desk filled with knick-knacks gifted from students and endless

Terry 2

amounts of office supplies. I paid no attention to it since I was focused on the love story in the
palms of my hands. It wasn't until I got home that I realized she had slipped a piece of paper
inside my backpack. Confused, I slowly inched the paper out of my front pocket and it entailed
the name of a book she recommended for me to check out after completing my current reading.
That was the start of it all. She had noticed my love for reading, and took the initiative to help
further it and encouraged me to read new texts. Mrs. Pippen played a huge role in my academic
life, she opened my eyes to the world of literature and would always encourage my abilities as a
writer. Not only would she help me figure out new books to read, but she would also converse
with me whilst I read about the plot and she allowed me to be able to further talk about the story
with someone who had read it. Furthermore, I admired her love for reading since I saw it
translate into who she was as a person. She was kind to everyone she spoke to, and always
looked for the reasoning behind actions deeper than the surface.

Not long after, I moved throughout primary education and never lost my admiration for
reading and writing. Elementary school, in all honesty, was great. For reasons including the
Scholastic Bookfair. The crisp smell of newly unboxed books staggering on what I viewed to be
an endless gallery of texts just begging for me to read them made me all the more enticed by
their narrative. Not to mention Accelerated Reader and the ice-cream party incentive my school
provided in collaboration to encourage students to read more books. This made me associate
reading with positive recollections. Resultantly, I spent most of my time in the Library; So much
time that I could be able to pinpoint the musty, paper induced aroma of one from a mile away.
Whether it be the joyful, middle-aged Librarians who worked at my school or the bitter-stricken,
stale faced clerks of the Downers Grove Public Library, they all knew my name and would

Terry 3

frequently set aside novels that they thought would catch my interest. Furthermore, they typically
always did, and so I was grateful. I remember them introducing me to some of my life-long
favorite authors such as John Green, Katie Alender, Jenny Han, and Rainbow Rowell. Their
impact led to me becoming the literal definition of a bookworm. I could easily lose myself in a
book, and not think twice about the time I spent doing it. My mother tells me all the time that
there'd be many nights where she would walk past my bedroom door and hear the faint rumbling
sound of papers turning against the weight of the comforter I had pulled over me. She'd always
debate whether or not to yell at me to go to bed, or just let me be since it is hard to be mad at
your daughter for simply being addicted to reading. Most times she let me be, but at other times I
heard her two cents about the importance of sleep and how it is not to be compromised by ink on
paper. Nevertheless the enthusiasm I had about reading translated into my writing. This is to be
expected since I was able to convey the styles of writing I read through fictional texts into my
assignments for school. For me it was fun, I didn't view it as a task or a chore. I felt that literature
was my ideal means of self-exploration and I loved it. However, this all changed about 2 seconds
into high school.

Maybe it was puberty and the fact that I simply grew out-grew the person I once was.
Maybe it was the fact that I became more serious about volleyball, and I felt as though there
weren't enough hours in a day to excel in both aspects of my life. Maybe I stopped loving
reading and writing for a lot of reasons, but I'm almost positive it's because the standard public
education system sorta sucks. I noticed that as soon as I entered the realm of high-school, the
motive behind literacy shifted. It was no longer about exploration, and writing to be
individualistic, I found it to be constraining and suffocating the way teachers expected us to

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conform to a certain means of writing. Of course, I fought it, but it never ended well. "Stop being
so difficult,'' "You're overthinking," ''Just go with it"... These all being examples of things I
heard quite often from my peers whenever I'd try to voice my frustrations about the writing
curriculum. I tried my hardest not to lose my passion for something that had been such a
significant part of my childhood; but in all honesty, it didn't take me long to realize that the
majority of my teachers just wanted me to fulfill the bullet points in their rubrics, nothing more,
nothing less. So that's what I did. I wrote exactly what I knew my teachers wanted to hear, and I
phrased it in a way that deemed worthy of "exceeding expectations." Reading for fun slowly but
surely became foreign to me. It has gotten to the point where if I even try to read paragraphs in
books required of me through school I immediately get a foul taste in my mouth, my stomach
faintly turns, and my palms get sweaty with anxiety admitting the fact that I'm dreading to do
what I once used to love. I genuinely don't remember the last time I picked up a book for
purposes other than writing an essay. It's sad when you think about it, so I try not to do so.
Therefore, when prompted with the question of how has reading and writing impacted my life, it
saddens me to say that I for one, am not sure if that impact was a positive one. Yes, it was
something that meant a lot to me, although conclusively I found it to slip through the cracks of
reality and turn into something I desire no recollection over. All at the expense of the public
education system. When I think of high school my mind automatically refers to the sound of
bells ringing periodically, and teachers crushing the minds of young authors nationwide through
their words of discouragement. I understand this may not be the case for everyone, but for me it
is concrete.

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Nowadays, critics love a good happily ever after. Rotten tomatoes will testify that most
audiences appreciate a happy ending for the protagonist in almost any story. Therefore, I am here
to tell you that I understand. I understand that this is somewhat of a pessimistic way to view a
course that in the long-run will be of use to me. I understand that perspective is influential in
how one perceives a situation. This I understand. Therefore, believe it or not, I am excited to
continue in this class. Dare I say it, I view this as a challenge, a way for me to overcome the
notion that society has placed in my mind about the limits of literature. 7th grade-year-old me
would not envision herself falling out of love with her passion for reading and writing, never
finding her way back. There have been a variety of things to offset this fascination, and out of
affinity to my younger self, I am going to acknowledge and try my hardest to surmount the
obstacles placed between me and literacy. Whether it be setting aside a particular time to go to
the library and browse through aisles of fiction books, or throwing caution to the wind and
writing with the same childlike-mentality I once had before being exposed to higher-level
standards of education. I refuse to let having had questionable teachers rob me of a love I once
had. Maybe I should do it for Mrs. Pippen, and her hope that what she taught me would resonate
with me far into adulthood, or maybe for my past-self who was able to find herself through
words and formation. No matter the reason, I will surely do it for the future of those after me
who say they hate this class.

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