The Memory Research was an exercise to help us start brainstorming about our literacy journey. There were a series of questions that professor gave us, that I answered in the following paragraphs. There was not much organization to how I formatted this free write.
From the time of my life that I can remember, probably starting around 3 or 4 years old, I have distinct memories of my mom reading to me each night before I went to bed. She would lie on my bed and I would sit on her back so I could follow the text and she read out loud. She read lots of different books to me; I do not remember any in specific, but they were all picture books that were bright and colorful. I felt so happy when she read to me and looked forward to reading with her each night. I also always remember listening to my dad sing in the car. By age 8, I think I knew the lyrics to all of my dad’s favorite Chicago songs.
We had, and still have all different kinds of books in our home. We have a series of novels that my dad had when he was growing up, lots of books on baseball and the Cardinals; we have books written by past and current Presidents. We have picture books, music books, novels, and inspirational books. Basically all of our books are in our family room bookshelves, but I keep some of my favorite books in my room, just like my brother keeps some of his favorite books in his room.
At home we talk a lot about what is going on in the news and new music we find. There is some type of article that someone in my family reads about at least once a day that we normally share with one another. It is nice to share and stay updated on what is going on in our community and the rest of the country. I always seem to pay extra attention to good lyrics in the music that I listen to, so I like to share the new songs I find with my family. There are times when one of us are reading a really good novel, and that can start a conversation, but I think most of our conversations are revolved around news and music.
Unfortunately I was never a huge fan of reading; I wish I could say I was. I would sometimes read for fun, but usually it was just for school. I think, as I got older, my appreciation for reading grew and I learned to enjoy it, but I then faced the struggle of finding time. I don’t know why I didn’t read more when I was in grade school, since I did read every night with my mom when I was in preschool, but for some reason or another I did not. Like I said earlier, I did always love music, and I did have a strong desire in second grade to play piano. Starting in second grade, and all the way to my freshmen year of high school, I took piano lessons and read music. I think most of my free time went towards practicing piano.
I have journal-ed on and off for many years. My journaling involved writing down goals I have and writing down special experiences I have had that I do not want to forget about. Many times I stop and write down what I am thankful for. I also love writing letters to people. I write a letter to my mom, dad, and brother on special occasions like their birthday, or mother or father’s day. I love writing thank you notes because I think it is extremely important to express thanks.
I have never published any of my work. I have never felt a strong passion towards writing, and I think part of that is because I have struggled sharing my work with others. For that reason, the writing I do has always been very personal (journaling or letters), both of which are not to be shared. I love writing my goals down at the beginning of each year, and then put them away, and get them out half way throughout the year, adding to it, and then getting them out again at the end of the year.
I see my dad reading the newspaper every morning. He also reads so much for work, and probably one novel every other week. My mom also reads a lot, but she normally reads novels for fun, or news articles on her iPad. Both of my parents often send me articles they read online that remind them of me. I always thought of my dad as a really good reader because of all of the reading that he would do for work. I would see the massive binders of paperwork for a case he was working on, and wonder how anyone could read and understand so much information.
I have always had a harder time with reading comprehension, and so to help with that issue, I have to take notes on everything I read. I am always amazed and slightly jealous of the people who can read something, not take notes, and then remember everything from that reading for the class. I always assume that these people must be really good readers.
I read short fictional novels when I was in grade school. My all time favorite book was A Corner of the Universe. I was in fourth grade when I read this, but I then read it again in fifth grade, and also sixth grade. I told everyone about this book! In fifth grade, my teacher even read it out loud to our class! I had subscriptions to magazines that I liked to read, I always loved listening to songs and memorizing lyrics, and also reading piano music.
I normally just read in my room or at school. When I read I cannot be lying down because I fall asleep, so I normally read in a comfy chair.
I think most of the negative experiences with reading and writing have come from ignorance. From 6th- 12th grade, I always had Summer Reading, and I was always so off put by that, because I didn’t think you should have homework in the sumemr. I dreaded it. By my junior and senior year, I think I was more mature about it, and understood why summer reading was important. I think it is always really important to have a good English teacher. Thinking back to middle school, and high school, my best memories from writing and reading came from classes with really good teachers. I have struggled with sharing my work in the past, and always felt self conscious, I have gotten better with that in recent years though.