Advanced Essay #2: "An Empty Book"

          For this paper I focused on human development and learning styles. Education will forever be a part of the world and it is important to enhance it for the better of the learner. As time goes on more information will be available. It is the job of the educators to help the learners develop a path for themselves because not everything can be taught in school. I am most proud of finding an argument I care and feel greatly passionate about. By including memories I was able to tell my side of the story as a student. As my writing abilities continue to grow I plan to continue to explore and discover. Without exploration there is no story to tell.

          ​When I was young I enjoyed the basic necessities; school, bath time, and books. At school there were multiple personalities that surrounded me, and they were all judged for a grade. The “100 Book Challenge” was one of the activities that we engaged in. It was designed to see how many books we could read, not how well we read them or how much of the book we understood. As said in I Just Want To Be Average, by Mike Rose, “Students will float to the mark you set.” Children around me always read the thicker books, while I read the thinner ones, but they didn’t comprehend what was happening in their book while I did. The teacher's seen them try but didn't see me succeed. So, why were the other kids praised for books they didn’t understand? Reading a book can’t be the only form of literacy because I can do more than read books. I can comprehend the world around me by listening and visualizing.

          As a small child, after my bath and dressing for bed I would walk carefully down the tan rugged steps in the dark, tiptoeing across the arctic cold kitchen floor, and through the mirror filled dining room. I see my mother making her way towards the big green couch. She plops down, swinging her feet over the other cushions. She grabs the remote to turn the TV on until I walk in the living room. I look at her saying nothing for a couple seconds then dart to the boxed TV to grab my red Doctor Sues bag right beside it. It has little colorful fish on the outside like the book “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.” The bag is filled with all my favorite books, but I pull out my favorite, “Are You My Mother?” It is a light green book with a white dog on the cover. “Mom! Let's read.” I say to her as she yawns and nods her head. I open the book and begin, “Are you my mudder?” My mom has read the book to me so many times I now know it by heart even though the words on the page are a blur to me. I turn each page excitedly reciting from memory to my mom as she smiles. “Are you my mudder?” I continue. I visualize the story in my head. When I am done she gives me a big hug and a kiss, “You’re very intelligent.” A smile grew on my face, and I would start from the beginning again.

          In school teachers set a “mark”, a goal of knowledge, for students to reach. The mark that is set is not always reasonable though. Most goals being set are the ability to complete certain tasks, while not understanding how these tasks were completed. The path to completion and comprehension is the most important “mark” to “float to.” Teachers should focus more on the process rather than the final product because the students, and humans in general, will never stop gaining knowledge. Teachers are so use to following a specific curriculum then once reaching a goal they aimed for, they stop and move on to the next without reflection. By the teachers setting a mark for endless exploration, and questioning, the child’s education can prosper. All children ask questions to understand better due to them being curious about the world around them that changes everyday. This is all important because goals, or “marks,” are made to be reached. Then, another goal should to set again to repeat the process in a higher educated matter.

          My mother did not directly set a timely goal for my education. She loved to watch me explore and ask questions. This is why I worked along my own path and tried to discover things for myself. I was given the time to explore. The outside world contains more visual examples than a book could ever have. Understanding is the key to literacy, not just being able to see the words. By listening to my mother read this book to me I visualized what she was telling me in my head. It made me curious. It made me want to bring the story to life. If you truly listen to what somebody is saying to you and explore it, you will find more things to explore. 

          There was a time when books and writing did not exist and now humans have prospered, from exploration, to inventing and creating things like buildings and houses with heat, hospitals to help the injured, and restaurants to feed. Today these things are normal to us, but they were not normal once before. We continue to explore by doing things to make life easier, more enjoyable. If you think reading is the only form of literacy then think about a book, any book, and ask yourself what made them write it the way they did. They didn’t get that information from another book, they would have had to find the words themselves.

Cited Sources

"100 BOOK CHALLENGE®." 100 BOOK CHALLENGE®. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <>.

"Overview of Learning Styles." Overview of Learning Styles. Web. 27 Nov. 2015. <>.

Eastman, P. D. Are You My Mother? New York: Random House, 1986. Print.

Rose, Mike. ""I Just Wanna Be Average"" 50 Essays: A Portable Anthology. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004. 316-29. Print.
Image Analysis

          This is a statue of a book. This book is made out of scrunched up pieces of paper and paint is splattered on the books cover while the inside stays white. The balled up paper represents all the things and knowledge that can be discovered, unwrapped. The splattered paint represents the symbolically bright and dark discoveries that can be found. The inside, pages, of the book are white, empty, clear of all words and pictures to show new life, new knowledge, and new stories. The statue can be interpreted in many different ways by all levels of knowledge. Only the mind of other individuals can tell what words should be written inside and in what way.