Van De Hey
Halle Van De Hey
Professor Aleashia Walton
10 June 2018
My Journey on the Path to Literacy
Literacy. Linguists have loosely and summatively described this as "the ability to read and write." Yet in my own experience and on my own journey, I have found this to be an insufficient definition. It does not begin to describe or encompass the depth of soul that has been endowed to all who write. I read and I write. I see the world differently. I analyze situations and circumstances on a deeper level than they appear to the onlooker who merely glances and skims the surface, only to avert the eyes abruptly. I feel emotions deeply and I do everything with heart. I have an inexplicable ability to empathize with others and place myself in their shoes. I see the story from the vantage point of all the parties involved because I can vicariously think, feel, see and understand where they are coming from. Then I am able to move a step forward to document the lively animated phenomena on bland inanimate paper -using only a pen as a tool. I am a writer.
Although my own journey, along the path to literacy is still in its youthful stages, it already feels as though it has been the journey of a lifetime. The memories of the beginning stages of this long are some of the fondest I have in my existence. In my youth, I always enjoyed reading. I read all kinds of books and immediately found myself in other worlds- this continues to fascinate me up until this day. Ever since I could read, this has been my habit- finishing even thicker literature within a few weeks. It truly resonated with me when reading Sherman Alexie say this in The Joy of Reading and Writing:
I read books late into the night, until I could barely keep my eyes open. I read books at recess, then during lunch, and in the few minutes left after I had finished my classroom assignments. I read books in the car when my family traveled to powwows or basketball games. In shopping malls, I ran to the bookstores and read bits and pieces of as many books as I could. I read the books my father brought home from the pawnshops and secondhand. I read the books I borrowed from the library. I read the backs of cereal boxes. I read the newspaper. I read the bulletins posted on the walls of the school, the clinic, the tribal offices, the post office. I read junk mail. I read auto-repair manuals. I read magazines. I read anything that had words and paragraphs. I read with equal parts joy and desperation. (p. 130-131)
I could spend an entire weekend locked indoors in the vivid world of other writers. Writers who captivated me in ways I never dreamed possible, ways which I believed were completely impossible to personally attain. Hearing Sherman also discuss his captivation for literature was validating in a way I didn’t expect because I was an anomaly to most kids around me.
I was in the eighth grade when I began to fantasize about the idea of actually becoming a writer. My eighth-grade teacher had...