During our language unit in Mr. Block’s class, we were asked to write a language autobiography about ourselves. I really enjoyed this assignment because it was personal, and I knew that everyone’s would be different. My process was very simple, edit, revise, and edit again. I might have written 3-4 rough drafts before my final product. I wanted my paper to incorporate outside sources, but still connect to myself. I am very happy with my final product, and I enjoyed writing this autobiography and this unit.
Strengths: I think that I did really well with editing and revising my paper. I worked really hard to get it to where it is. I was also good at managing my time, and knowing that to work to my full potential, I needed that extra day to work.
Weaknesses: I had a hard time starting with my paper, and having it make sense. I had many ideas that I wanted to write about, but I had a hard time making them all connect.
I am, many unique languages. Do I speak more than one? No. Do I speak with a different dialect? Yes. I speak, think, and execute my language differently than anyone else. My language is who I am, and I am my language. I speak differently all the time, depending on whom I’m talking to. It’s called code switching. I speak differently to an adult, than I do to my little cousin. But I also have my own dialect that no one else has, and my own accent. Everyone has their own language, which makes them have a unique identity.
Language is such a key tool in life. Society has a certain speech called “standard language” that is the only “proper” and “acceptable” way to speak and write. That’s what society thinks anyways. My idea of language is whatever you speak. If you’re from Arkansas Philadelphia, New York, anywhere! Be who you are. There was a video Mr. Block let us watch. It was all about different tongues and how people speak. I thought it was so interesting seeing how people talk around the country. But it made me sad that some people were made fun of, or discriminated against because of their accent. We all have accents. Some of us speak slower, some faster. But were all humans and we’re all irreplaceable. I strongly believe that language makes the person you are.
We read 4 essays in Mr. Block’s class and they were all about peoples’ stories about their language background. There was one that really stood out to me. It was about a girl who spoke Standard English in front of others, but at home spoke a different kind of English with her mother. Her mother didn’t quite speak English in full sentences, but spoke broken English. Her mother was very rich though, and was involved with big companies, and big business men. Her mother had to talk on the phone with them a lot, but she made adjustments because of her broken English. Her mother would say what she wanted to say, and then she would rearrange the words in a more proper dialect to the businessman on the phone. This goes back to code switching that I mentioned previously. She was a speaker, and a daughter in her home. She had two different dialects worth comprehending, and she was still herself when speaking two different ways.
If you would ask someone about me, you would get completely different answers with different people. My parents find me with an “attitude”, like all parents do. People who don’t know me well think I am quiet and don’t talk much, and my friends think I’m loud and crazy. This is because I have different dialect with everyone, and sometimes I don’t even notice it.
I have few distinct words that I say all the time, like “yeah buddy” and “kudos”. These are just random words I say to mean “good job”, and it puts a smile on everyone’s face. For example, last week I went to a play. The curtains closed, and the lights slowly got brighter. The crowd was all standing, clapping, and cheering. The play was once in a lifetime, spectacular. I saw “RENT” with my friends Maura and Caitlin in New York on Sunday. After the play was over, we rushed out of the theatre, pushing each other up the steps, while having our markers and papers out. The doors barge open, it was bitter and cold outside, but our warm hearts and bright energy lit up the night skies. We waited in line for about 10 minutes, until the stars from the play came outside. There was a burst of happiness when they walked outside, and you could see it with the massive smiles on all of our faces. “AHHHH” said Maura. We were all screaming and jumping around. “What’s up” said Matt Shingledecker from the play. I stuttered to ask him for his autograph, but he understood. We also took a picture with him. In that blissful moment, we all looked at each other, huddled around, and screamed “YEAHBUDDY”. On the car ride home, it was dead silent. Every one just looked out there window, replaying the breathtaking moments in our heads.
Something I have struggled with overtime though is speaking my mind and standing up for myself/others. Like I stated before, your specific language expresses your identity. If someone says something that I don’t agree with I don’t say anything, because I don’t have the confidence. In previous years like middle school, it was extremely small. It was easier to be yourself because there weren’t many people and everyone knew each other. I loved the younger children, and every recess I spent time with them. I remember coming into school and saying hey to my friends, but then a little girl Lily would run up to me every morning. “SARA! Will you play house with me?” “Sure Lily, I’d love to.” I would reply laughing. Every morning I would play with her and the other kindergarteners. It was something different everyday like hopscotch, house, garden, and monkey in the middle. I loved brightening up their days just because a “big kid” cared about them. On the playground, I would also see some bullying occurring. That’s when I would stand up for whomever was getting picked on. I found out who I was through that, and quickly was rewarded for it when I received the William Penn award at my graduation.
I believe that your language comes from the confidence you have in yourself. For example, if you have a strong bold personality, you don’t care what anyone thinks, and you say what you believe at all times you have confidence in yourself. That’s something I have worked on over the years, and I hope when I get older, I’ll have the confidence to express my true identity. Language is through finding your voice. Throughout high school, and the rest of my life I will continue to express myself and find my voice. I will be Sara Nesbitt. Who is that? It’s a girl with a Philly accent, code switches all the time, and believes in herself. Language is me, and I am my language.
Video link! :)