Me llamo Ashton
Soy muy divertido
Soy de y vivo en Filadelfia
No me gusta escribir
Me encanta comerAdios
I designed my slide based on all of my favorite things. I put everything I like in this slide and obviously Lil Herb is my favorite rapper and I take a lot of influence from him so revolving the slide around him is the best way to describe who I am.
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The Foreignness of my Speech.
Never did I feel the need to silence my voice or to conduct myself knowing that I have so many great things to offer to this world. When I was in the third grade, my classmates disagreed with my ideas based on my accent. They refused to hear what I had to say because my English did not sound like theirs. They said that I sounded “African” or that I spoke funny. Those words became scars and I lost all my confidence. I didn’t want to be the person everyone turns to look at because I sounded different. I did not enjoy that sort of attention.
Back then I wasn’t able to let them know that I have the same rights as they do, being that I was also born here, the only difference is that I grew up in a household with more than three languages were being spoken. At the age of nine, I didn’t know that being multilingual and having an accent wasn’t a bad thing. Gloria Anzalda has this concept of “Wild tongues can’t be tamed, they can only be cut out.” Her idea has assisted me by making me realize that my classmates too had the intentions of cutting out my tongue. They too dislike the existence of my foreign speech. They wanted me to be just ordinary. My accent made me stand out in a way that I used to think was awfully embarrassing. I can’t really understand why this set me back. Why it has kept me sort of silent, determined that no one wants to hear my multilingual tongue. Having to pause a moment because I had mixed up the words in my brain, thinking of the same sentences in Fulani, French, Sou-sou, Mandingo and Arabic.
It seems that people are somehow afraid of change. People hate what they don’t understand. Most people like to cling on things they are already used to, so it gives them an excuse to dismiss new things. When my classmates were exposed to the way I spoke, they dismissed me and my ideas because they couldn’t relate. The way they reacted to the change was to make me not want to speak. My classmates feared my wild tongue because it was something new to them.
When I was in the third grade my teacher, Ms. King asked me to read. This was my greatest fear. I had no choice, there was no way around this one. So I began, my heart pounding. “Th..The boy went to.. the park” I stammered. As it became more difficult to distinguish my letters. “Ha-ha” laughter rose from my third grade class as tears stung at my eyes. I could feel myself shaking. “How are you in the third grade and can’t even read.” One of my classmates shouted as I had a sudden urge to pee and chills ran down my spine. “Ms. King may I please use the bathroom.” I asked. “You asked to used the bathroom too many times, what is wrong with your bladder Aissatou? You know what just walk to the principal's office afterwards. You get on my nerves. I barely understand anything you say.” I rushed out of my seat tripping as a girl with two ponytails sticks out her foot for me to fall. I ran to the bathroom, my eyes blurry full of tears. I hated school. I wiped my face and walk to the office ready to get a phone call home.
In order to meet the requirements of my classmates, I would go home everyday and read. I read about things that made me happy. I grew to love books because that was the only part of the day I could looked forward to. It helped improve my English. Reading taught me words my classmates could not even comprehend. The more I read the more I wanted to wash out my own tongue. However, I realized that attempting to perfect my English, in order to get rid of my wild tongue of its foreignness or to please others is useless. Drowning out my native background wasn’t worth it, limiting myself to only speaking English was holding me back a lot more than trying to juggle with them all.
Getting rid of my ability to speak many languages was pointless. I took to heart this feeling when I met a girl in the eighth grade, who spoke Fulani just like me, however she couldn’t speak much English. I became sort of a translator for her. I walked up to her after class when I found out that her name was Amirah. “My name is Aissatou and I’ve noticed you don’t talk at all in class.” I stated. “I no speak much English.” Amirah answer looking down, ashamed. We began to walk. “Then what do you speak?” I challenged. “I speak Fulani.” She reply. I beamed as we entered into the lunchroom. “Me too.” I said excitedly in Fulani. This was one of the times I felt proud about being multilingual. Someone was in need of my talent when I was trying to hide it. I learned that accepting my capability instead of disregarding it was not only helpful to myself but many others. The idea of trying to fit was not worth it, while it made me lose so much of my identity.
"Key Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Bilingual." Key Advantages and Disadvantages of Being Bilingual. Torri Miller, 1998. Web. 29 Nov. 2015.
I made this me magazine the way it is, by trying to make is simple yet artistic like combining the words like independent fits into Expression because the “n” is also in Independent. And the word Slide can fit into Learner because of the L in Slide that is also the first letter of learner. And I added very few pictures because I mainly wanted the focus to be on the words but I chose those pictures because it pops it when you look at it, it isn’t a series of small little pictures but bigger and more simply pictures. And I chose the picture that says dance and it shows 3 dancers because dance was in my me magazine and I described that as my passion and in the me magazine I talked about my experiences regarding dance and why I love it so much. I also purposely chose that picture of 3 dancers because when I danced it was always with my 2 bestfriends and I felt that it represented us in a way. Then I chose the family like tree because in 2 of my entries in the me magazine I talked about family and how they impact my identity and how they’re a big part of me that defines who I am today, not entirely but it is definitely a part of me. And I chose the picture that says projects because in my me magazine I talked about how projects are something that I really enjoy to do, and I learned better and more effectively when it comes to putting all that I’ve learned into a project. And I would easily choose a project over something that requires turning in papers. And I chose the word energy and put it in within the word learner because it had that E in it and i chose that word because when energy is really important when it comes to dancing and the way it looks when on stage.
I decided to make my slide look the way it does because of a few things. My slide had to show my viewers my values, my interests and most of what is important to me while also following some of the suggestions from Presentation Zen. First of all, Presentation Zen suggested using contrast to help create a memorable and easy to follow slide. Since I thought this was a good idea, I decided to incorporate contrast into my slide by using contrasted colors for my text bubbles and my words, and then having a black background so all the colors would stick out. The second technique I used in creating my slide was attempting to minimize the amount of information and pictures on my slide, as suggested by Presentation Zen. Having a lot going on on a slide will make it difficult for viewers to focus on the main idea of the slide, so I did my best to make my slide as minimal as possible. To do this, I chose the picture of me that seemed to tell people the most about myself in one picture versus two or three, so this would minimise clutter on the slide. I also made the words describing myself into one structure so the viewer would know where to look for the information, instead of looking all over the slide (this was suggested on the slide design website). These are the reasons why I decided to make my slide look the way it does.
Language is more than just a way to communicate. Language is a way to see the world, a kind of reality. Speaking, writing, or reading a language is a way of experiencing and perceiving that reality, and each language is a different reality.
My first experience with language (other than English) was Spanish, at my Spanish-immersion school. It’s all a haze of memory, but kindergarden was one big blur, all coming together like a mix of two colors of playdough, or a trix yogurt. I distinctly remember the room, with a connected bathroom and brightly colored walls, plastered with drawings and numbers and letters like any other elementary classroom. The teacher, Maestro Arturo, or Mister Arthur, is from Chile, a country I haven’t heard of in my narrow five years of existence. He speaks a few words of English, mumbling and fumbling through introductions and first lessons. He makes such an attempt to speak well with the English parents, and he is so patient with the children, as are we with him, that even though I don’t remember much from this year, I can easily say that he was a great teacher, and one of the best I’ve ever had. Over the year we stumble through Spanish words, and then Spanish phrases, and then Spanish sentences, finally ending the blur of a year with a grasp of Spanish and still having learned what every other kindergartener learns in a year. I remember not speaking much English with Mister Arthur, and him not speaking much English with us, and to this day I believe that it’s the best way to learn a language: immersion.
To plunge into a language, to be urged to learn the language simply out of necessity, is the only way to learn a language. Not in the classroom writing a word fifty times, or on a computer, yelling into the speakers. The only way to learn a language is to live in it, to marinate in it over time, and to want to learn. Through this immersive learning I have learned two languages other than English, and I plan to continue to grow.
My immersive experience with Spanish was a way to experience and understand this new language, and in turn this new reality. Having learned Spanish, I can say that I know of another side to life, and another world completely different from English. I also learned German from my mother and her family through this immersion.
As I lay in my bed, my hands clasped behind my head, I look out into the night sky through the tiny little porthole window in the ceiling. It is not quite darkness, and it never will be. The light will never fully fade, but just dim until it is barely recognizable. You could still walk and see the world around you. It is late in the night, or early in the morning, and the time blends together. One moment I look into the clock, seeing an eleven, and the next minute I look over to see a two. I lie awake like this for what seems like hours, but I can never quite tell, and the clock is always lying. Everything in this country is new and off in a way that can only be experienced in another country. My body is telling me it’s afternoon and that I should look out of the window and see a sun dipping towards the horizon, but my eyes tell me the truth.
This window in the slanted roof is my only view of the outside world, but in my head, I can experience other worlds. I can hear words and stories, and I can see pictures and places, but there’s still a distinct language to what I hear. I struggle my first few days in this new country, trying to get back the German I once learned, trying to brush off the dust that has fallen over that crystal ball. As I blow it away, the language comes back, I begin to speak with ease, and I can feel a different world around me. I lay in my bed each night, and I slowly feel an evolution come over me. I begin to sleep locally, and my body adjusts its clocks to match the ones on the walls. The thoughts and worlds in my mind slowly switch language, becoming new worlds as I experience them in German.
Each time I go back to visit Germany and my family there, I have to make the evolution from English to German, and it’s a noted change in the way I experience the world, and also the world I am in. Just changing the language I speak and think in changes my world and changes my reality. An ancient Chinese proverb states that:
“To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.”
Each language is a window to look at the world, but also a reality in and of itself that you can experience. Language is a way to experience, and a way to be. Languages are their own realities and to learn a new language is to learn a new reality.
Ager, Simon. "Proverbs, Quotations and Sayings about Language." Proverbs and Quotations about Language in Many Languages. Web. <http://www.omniglot.com/language/proverbs/language.htm>.
The main focus of my essay is the lack of creativity encouraged in writing. I touch upon the way writing is taught to students in the academic atmosphere and what the outcome of these teachings leads to. My introductory paragraph created a strong opening for my topic which was very satisfactory to me. However, as a writer I must improve my ability to build evidence and develop my larger idea.
I am a literary impostor. Of course I know how to write a traditional academic essay, I am not discounting this skill. Yet I struggle with the ability to insert individuality into my writing. This is why I feel that I am not truly a literary for one aspect of being a writer is to project personal thoughts. I feel that this struggle is mutual among my classmates, whether they recognize it or not. At my previous school the students obtaining honor roll could produce a mediocre essay including a vocabulary pull from the seventh grade and thematic cliches, but with the use of the traditional academic format, thrill the teachers and gain an A. When students are praised for this type of product time and time again, their writing will never evolve since personal exploration is never encouraged. In this way students of the 21st century are being raised as literary robots, defeating a fundamental objective of writing.
Reflecting on my literary education, I have concluded it to be very simplistic and sparse. In elementary school the format of a paragraph was first introduced to me through the “hamburger paragraph”, a diagram that illustrates a paragraph’s construction. As elementary school progressed, we worked on strengthening our skills in creating paragraphs using other systems such as TAGS. Up to that point I was successfully advancing with the curriculum. However, the change of school in fifth grade took a toll on my growth in literacy. Throughout middle school writing was treated by the teachers as a minor aspect, as if it were self explanatory. I remember constructing paragraphs for assignments to be a very step-oriented process. Upon beginning high school I carried with me that process, it being the only thing I knew. Every paper I produced seemed to be comparable to the previous, just shedding light on a different topic. No teacher came to the rescue for it appeared that since I knew the traditional academic formatting all was well. Yet I felt worn from the repetition of spewing the same ideas with no distinction from one to the next.
The bud of the problem is that when the format of a paragraph is taught, there is no elaboration on content and construction. With no guidance students may assume that the format of a paragraph is the basic knowledge needed to complete an essay, unintentionally disregarding the composition. These circumstances could result in a plethora of identical essays. When students are not taught to imply individuality, the same set of ideas tend to be recycled throughout their paper without any progression. This can create an exhausting and mundane atmosphere for the writer, causing them to lose interest in their topic. In his book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire stated that “it is the people themselves who are filed away through the lack of creativity, transformation, and knowledge in this (at best) misguided system. For apart from inquiry, apart from the praxis, individuals cannot be truly human. Knowledge emerges only through invention and re-invention, through the restless, impatient continuing, hopeful inquiry human beings pursue in the world, with the world, and with each other.” Freire’s statement is similar to mine in which he touches upon the detachment people have developed through education, which includes literacy in relation to their creativity. With the absence of creativity there is hardly any chance at inserting individuality, giving the produced writing more of mechanical quality with no personal essence.
I sit in front of my computer willing my fingers to type, yet they won’t budge. For an hour and a half I have been staring at a blank page, chasing tantalizing thoughts that dissolve before I can manage to type out a coherent sentence. Another year of tenth grade would not have prepared me for the writing assignment given on the first day of school, for I have never been given such loose guidelines. Teachers were always so exact about what they wanted. Now for the first time I am given the control to have creative ownership over my work, something I have longed for greatly and there is an emptiness. My ideas are missing in action. So I turn to my alternative, using the guidelines given and applying the basic paragraph format. The instance I describe is not a past dilemma, this conflict occurs daily. The fact that I share this problem with fellow students is alarming for the reason that many are unaware. Even more alarming is the fact that some educators deem it acceptable to not expand past the basic paragraph formatting. Writing is an art that captures opinion, personality, and soul propelled by the creativity and individuality of the mind as well as source of analytical text. If writing is further encouraged in this way, new ideas will cease to be produced, and the art of writing will become a myth.
Freire, Paulo. "Philosophy of Education -- Chapter 2: Pedagogy of the Oppressed." N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <http://faculty.webster.edu/corbetre/philosophy/education/freire/freire-2.html>.
“But for a language to remain, it must be used.” Literacy often is seen as and accepted as, without much thought on the topic, as the ability to read and write. What people define as literacy affects things like immigration policy, school curriculum, and public opinion of people. But language itself is just communication. It may be convenient to learn english and it may make life and other things easier for you, and open you to new opportunities and possibilities in your life. It is valued to speak english, but not speaking and knowing how to read and write english isn’t necessarily being illiterate.
Because the purpose of learning language to communicate. Any form of communication, as long as it can be understood, is valid as literacy. Maybe some positions require a higher level of understanding of the english language. Take for example, a position at a company that writes manuals or something along those lines, would require a higher level of understanding, but it obviously doesn’t make you illiterate for not having that level of understanding (this isn’t to say people shouldn’t have that chance, just that it is not necessary for everyone).
It was just recently, less than a week ago when I was going home on the train, Trenton line to be exact. It stopped at 30th street station, and the train began to crowd. The seat next to me had been ignored until the last people to board the train, a family of four, came in. It was a father, a mother, a younger son, and a baby. The mother was holding the baby, and sat next to me, the father sat opposite from here, and the small boy sat next to my mom, who asked the boy if he would like to sit by the window, (he said yes).
Once we got past North Philadelphia, the conductor person came down the aisle and asked people for tickets or money. The mother was asked, and searched for something to say, but the father responded to him in slightly broken english, and handed him the money for tickets to Trenton. The baby started to make an odd sound as the conductor walked away, and the mother quickly tried to quiet him down. The father and mother looked stressed. He started kicking my leg and arm as he tried to rustle out of his mother’s grip and the mother looked to me to say sorry. At this point the father had to take a call, which he answered in fluent spanish.
She obviously couldn’t speak much english, as it took her about 5 seconds to find the word sorry, not that I was waiting for her to say sorry, I’m not petty, and when she found it took a little bit for her to pronounce it. So I just smiled and gave a thumbs up. She smiled back and kept trying to quiet the baby down. Later when the boy was asleep, his legs kept slipping down off the mother’s lap and the mother looked directly at his eyes as if to check if he woke up. She put his legs on my lap, and looked to me for a response, which was a smile, and a ‘thumbs-up’. For the rest of the ride the baby was quiet.
My point in explaining this long scene is that in this instance, or scenario, I would consider her literate. She didn’t have the best english, but she was able to effectively communicate and understand ideas well enough that it wasn’t a big deal, or any deal really. They could have been coming from a hospital where they were getting the baby treated. I’, fairly the certain the father had enough english to fill out paperwork. If not, spanish is still the second biggest language in the United States. In this scenario, I wouldn’t consider the mother illiterate, or the father illiterate, because they have enough knowledge of communication that they can live a life. They could fill out paperwork, or what they said could be translated, and even if they don’t speak english, they could always have someone translate or just speak to someone who knows spanish, as it is the second most dominant language in the United States.
As long as you can communicate effectively with the people you need to and understand the things you need to in life, you are literate, because you have fulfilled the purpose of learning language, which is being able to communicate.
This essay will explain the concept of literacy. I mostly talk about how high schools shouldn't teach you basic, math, english, physics, history. Us young adults should be taught how to become a financially stable adult. Learning how to pay a mortgage and take out loans for college. There should be prep schools that help you prepare for financial aid. One day I asked my teacher when will we learn how to do these things, she said “that's your parents job”. It too unitil Jr. year to learn how to pay and take out a loan in my math class.
Education is key, ever since I was a small kid my parents and others told me to go to school because it will grant me the wish of becoming rich. My dream is to become rich, that is all i think about. I go to a public school located in the city of philadelphia called SLA. It is a very good and complex school. All classes that I have are supposed to challenge you to become better. Schools should be challenging and stressing you out, school should be teaching us to be challenged and to be stressed out to a point that no one would want to the assignment. Highschool should show you how to pay bills, pay off a mortgage, take out loans, and also maintain a life of a adult.
Maintaining a checkbook isn't the only thing that adult has to do, they have to know how to apply for a job, applying for medicare, and learning how to be fully functional adult. Adults have to be prepared so we don't get hit with a curve ball by the government or even the economy. My brother, he dropped out of highschool and got his diploma from a different program, he had all of his credits but really didn't like the school. His plan is to take a GAP year so he could get his life straight before actually going to college. A teenager shouldn't have to take a year off so he could get his adulthood straight, his high school that he attended for 3 ⅓ should of taught him to be prepared so that he wouldn't need to be stressing about.
I remember “one day in math class I ask my teacher when are we going to learn how to do these things pay bills exct.” She responded with, “that's your parents job”. My parents job is to support me and my family. Teachers in my school are paid to answer my questions and to teach me how to do and learn new things, they should just respond with an ignorant answer. And to this day I still don't know how to pay my taxes or a mortgage or even doing deductibles.
I explained to my teacher that in my life “i am not going to do algebra” or “finding slope.” I want to .It took until Jr. year when i first learned how to pay off loans, and the understanding of loans. I feel as tho that we should be taught these things so we are prepared to handle everything a young adult to has later on come to in life. this might just be why people are homeless.
If school was a prep-school for life, everyone would be financially stable. A basic school day would involve lots “one on one” communication with the student and the teacher. Types of classes would be financially classes, other classes could be preparing students for the worst and the best of college. School that actually prepared you for life would classify more as a perp/ trade school. It would be a very cool idea if the school district of philadelphia would create a prepare/ becoming an “adult” high school.
In Mike Rose's “I just want to be average.” A quote i pulled out was interesting because the main character is talking about a thing called “a true job”. A true job should be a lesson in school, so that kids could have a broad understanding to what they want to be. “In Some serious programs succeed in doing that, and through exceptional teachers — like Mr. Gross in Horace's Compromise 1 — students leant to develop hypotheses and troubleshoot, reason through an problem, and communicate effectively — the true job skills.” Learning and understanding what you want to do in the future, is good but as you grow up and become more mature you might want to change your mind and become something else. In a prep school for life there should be fill out sheets these fill out sheets contain options of what you want to become. You would be able to choose more than one job, that way a young adult would have more than one option if the first option fails.
Introduction: In my second advanced essay I chose to focus my paper off of racial literacy. A question given to us to brainstorm ideas was “What does it mean to be an “authentic” member of a cultural group?”. It instantly reminded me of an interview that I saw on the talk show The Real with guest Rachel Dolezal. She’s a woman who was biologically born white, but has chosen for the last 10 years or so to identify as black. I was surprised about the route that my paper ended up taking since I was hesitant to write about race since it is such a controversial topic, but I’m overall pretty happy with it. Also, I mentioned a scene of memory that’s a touchy subject for me, but I feel like it was a suitable scene for my paper. I definitely like this essay more than my last one and I hope that I can continue to grow in my essays to come.
In life there are many things that you can change, and many that you are given at birth. You aren’t allowed to choose your parents. You aren’t allowed to choose your living conditions growing up. And you most definitely don't have the option of choosing your own race. There isn’t a form at conception for you to fill out and choose the lifestyle you’d like waiting for you after your 9 months in the womb. It doesn't work that way. Yet others seem to feel differently.
Rachel Dolezal. Some of us may have remembered her from her distinctive interviews or the memes that were made about her, or even the hashtags that were made about her and surfaced just about every social media outlet. She personally believes that she should be allowed to self-identify as black when many others believe that she shouldn’t be able to do so. She has done a few interviews and her statements are quite controversial. Rachel sees herself as a black woman; but what makes a black woman a black woman? Does it just mean that you are from a black background and happen to be a woman? Or can it be more than that? Whatever Rachel’s definition of being a black woman is, she fits the criteria for.
In a recent interview with the daytime talk show The Real, Rachel was asked “What does being black mean to you? Why do you want to be black?” She responded by saying “Sometimes how we feel is more powerful than how we’re born. Blackness can be philosophical, cultural, or biological… I do think you have to walk the walk if that’s who you are.“ Although her response expressed her feelings further, the question was never answered. Why did she choose to not answer the question? When someone avoids a question, it’s safe to say that they’re typically hiding something. But why hide something as big as race? Something that made you want to identify as another race because saw yourself as that race since you were very young.
Many people in the audience, as well as myself, were not too fond of her answer. Blackness can not be philosophical. When researching definitions of the word philosophical, the example given was related to a people having philosophical discussions about free wifi. You can not relate a person's race to something as simple as discussions about free wifi! Philosophical thoughts and ideologies typically imply that one relates to a topic or situation. Being black is not a topic or situation that needs to be related with. Blackness is a being black! Being born into a race that has advantages, but twice as many disadvantages. Growing up and watching the television to hear about the injustices of your race. Listening to the stories from friends, family members, and even strangers about the type of profiling they receive based off of the complexion of their skin. Not being a child coloring with a brown crayon instead of the peach colored one as Rachel previously spoke about.
My question to Rachel Dolezal would be “Why do you want to be black?” With all of the things that black have to deal with as minorities, why is there such a desire to be apart of it? At this point of my life I couldn’t be happier to be a young black female, but it has not always been that way. At a very young age I was first introduced to the side effects of being black. My first insight of it was about 11 years ago when I was around 5 or 6 years old. It was my fourth day of first grade and I just started attending a new school. My classroom was all the way at the end of the hall in room 210. It was towards the end of the day and we always got a chance to go and read on the on the big blue carpet by the window. As our teacher dismissed our tables from the the most quiet to the least, we’d all rush over to make sure that we’d get to sit on the big couch that was sitting against the large windows. My table was the most on this particular day and I rushed over to grab my favorite book off of the shelf, No David. After completing our reading time, my teacher always came over to sing us our class Peanut Butter & Jelly song. “PEANUTTTTT! Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Jelly. PEANUTTTTT! Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Jelly. First you get the butter and spread it, and spread it. Then you get the jelly and spread it, and spread it. PEANUTTTTT! Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Jelly. ” After we finished singing, we drifted back to our tables. Before we sat down I heard one of my classmates talking about her upcoming birthday party. With me being the new girl in the school, I wanted to make friends. As she continued to talk about her party, she began to ask who wanted to come. With me being an anxious 5 year old ready to make friends, I was devastated by the words that wound shortly come out of her mouth. Her exact words were, “You can’t come to my party! My mom doesn’t like black people.” At 5 my biggest worry in class was keeping my table quiet so I could sit comfortably on the big couch outlooking the school yard; not the best way to respond to my first racial remark. My questions still stand to Rachel. Why do you want to be black? What about our lifestyle makes you strive to be apart of it? Do you aspire injustice?
The recording from the talk show quickly spread throughout the media including YouTube. Among the 145,993 views and 1,220 comments, one reviewer made a statement that many could either argue or agree with. The commenter stated “they never addressed the fact that her ability to want to identify as another other races race is a privilege that is only allotted for white people. it will never be possible for a fully black person to want to identify as white and get treated as so. check your privilege!” This then brings up the idea of white supremacy. As a young black female, I never get the opportunity to say I’d like to self identify as a white female because whiteness can be defined as philosophical, cultural, or biological. Unfortunately, we live in a world where equality is supposedly wanted so badly, but supremacy against minorities never goes away. We aren’t granted the idea of being accepted as another race; the exception would not be given from our original race nor our desired race.
Being black isn’t a topic of relatability. Being black isn’t an extracurricular activity that you can join. And being black isn’t a choice! It is something you’re born with and you have no choice but to live through it.
I opened the book. Then I slowly turn through the few blank pages and title pages, until I see the words ‘Chapter One’. I look at how tightly packed each row is with all the words, spaces, commas, and periods. I think to myself, I can do it this time, I can start to read this book. I won’t give up. I begin reading the first sentence, trying to concentrate on the words, the phrases, the meaning, the thought. I read it over and over again. I close the book. I open it again this time trying to read the page. I finish and remember… nothing I read. I read again. Now most of the rows start to mash together, words start to dance on the page. I remind myself: This is why I’ve never read a book before. I search up the audio book and start to listen. These moments that just keep repeating.
The first book I read without using audio recordings is ‘Ender’s Shadow’ by Orson Scott Card, which is my favorite book. The reason this book is my favorite is it makes me feel like I had a chance to make my life better, just like the main character did. It made me realize just how small Earth is, and just how much time we waste wondering what could have happened if somebodies life was yours and wanting what others have. Like Michael Grothaus wrote in ‘How Changing Your Reading Habits Can Transform Your Health’, where he said “But it wasn’t my new favorite book just because it was so compelling. It was my new favorite because it changed something in me.” What this book changed was that it made me see that there is a way to read, no matter how long it is, and if I read these books I will learn about life before I live it.
Having dyslexia can be hard at times, and a dyslexic brain works differently from any other. The time goes fast, rushes, but when I read it becomes all odd and starts going even faster and then a lot slower. My brain functions weird and reading is the key to that. When unlocked my brain starts to spin, to repeat and worst of all to go completely blank. Over the years I got some new locks and made it harder for that to happen, but it still breaks through sometimes, it finds a hole. That tiny hole appears when I get tired and the chains are looser. It takes me a long time to do anything involving reading or writing. It takes me a lot to read a simple book or write a short essay. Sometimes there is simply not enough hours in a day for my brain, yet I am my brain. I try to read faster, I try to subtract the hours my brain needs. But my brain and me are the same, but not even close to the same. People are too limited in thinking about literature and the way people could be literate. Just because I listen to audio books instead of reading does not make me illiterate.
Sometimes people don’t really understand how you can have absolute control of your brain and at the same time feeling like it keeps running wild. People usually can’t relate because they only have to start their brain, they just have to press the ON button. My brain doesn't need an ON button because I can’t turn it off and it keeps working when I try to pull the plug. Control: the ability to influence something. Control: my brain move quickly as I try to sort out all my thoughts, but I can only get a few out of the giant pile. Control: no matter how fast it moves I can still influence what it will do next, I can control my wild brain. If it didn’t happen to me every day, I wouldn’t believe it either.