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Briana Pierre

Professor L. Wolcott
ENC 1102
26 January 2015
Literacy Narrative

Literacy, as defined in the dictionary is the ability to read and write. Although the
dictionary has made the term literacy to be straightforward, in point of fact, it is more complex
than what it is made out to be. Reading and writing serves a representation of literacy, but in all
actuality,it is an important and powerful skill one must possess for consuming information and
effectively interpreting that information to connect with the world around us. Everyone has had
their own unique experiences that have shaped them to become literate in the abstract world of
literacy. These forces as Deborah Brandt describes as literacy sponsors, whether negative or
positive, an object or a person, are what molds us to become the readers and writers we are
My reading/writing experiences date back as far as my 3rd grade year where the FCAT
testing which included the FCAT writes and an in-county writing assessment known as the Palm
Beach Writes centered around the way the skill of reading and writing was taught. The main and
central focus for educators was to teach material that would strictly be covered on these
standardized tests instead of implementing a widespread of subjects and the understanding of
those particular subjects. The critical scoring of the FCAT, which was based on structure
guidelines ultimately was the way to achieve a score of a 3 or higher needed to advance to the
next grade level, but was being graded on a scale of 1-6 solely on the basis of structure,
vocabulary, and grammar a fair analysis of my full potential as a writer?

With a different perception for the concept of literacy, my once love with writing quickly
deteriorated to a strong dislike. The fact that I was being judged on my writing by a panel of
people who didnt care for the content of my essays, but only took a vast glance at my piece of
work to scrutinze major key points of the FCAT Writes such as the use of transition words,an
introductory paragraph, three main topics, and a conclusion made my desire to write almost
pointless. Without due regard to what I wrote on these essays, I did the bare minimum of what I
needed to pass due to the fact that it was more beneficial to those teaching me how to write for
these standardized tests than it was to myself negatively affected my ability to learn.
Entering the next stages in life known as high school, the FCAT Writes would not prepare
me for what is to come when taking courses such as Advanced Placement English Language and
Literature. Unlike all the other higher-level courses I had under my belt, AP literacy courses
required me to think more on a collegiate level where emphasis on reading/writing was placed on
knowing the facts on a specific style of text, and analyzing, interpreting, and figuring why these
particular facts mattered to the author. Building a connection with the authors style of text
without incorporating my personal experiences and opinions and focusing solely on
comprehending why the text was written posed as a challenge in itself only because that informal
writing technique was what I was accustomed to.
My frustrations with writing were not always negative but had some rather positive
effects on the way I viewed the art of writing as well. I particularly enjoyed when I was told to
free-write in class. I liked the idea of expressing my own thoughts on a paper without criticism or
obtaining a poor grade in return. There wasnt a limit to how much I can write or what I can
write about, as well as writing without regard to grammatical errors or misspelling. It merely was
a way of letting my thoughts lead where they may.

The FCAT and the institution I attended to acquire the materials I learned to take and pass
this standardized test serves as a negative sponsor for me. My outlook on reading and writing
and my lack of interest in these particular skills changed the aspect of what it means to be
literate. Granted, I was an avid reader but as I continued and progressed through school I found
myself scarcely picking up a book to read unless it was for a graded assignment. The standard
five paragraph essay format also seemed to be useless because it was made to be a solid
foundation for writing when as a matter of fact proved to be a sold dream in my mind.
Now that I am currently a college student, I can longer avoid taking classes such as ENC
1101 and ENC 1102 just because I dislike writing papers. I have learned that literacy will be a
part of my entire life because the ability to read and write is an essential skill that is needed for
knowledge, a long-term career, and for efficient communication. Literacy sponsors and literacy
institutions acts as a motivational guide to effectively incorporate the ingenuity of reading and
writing to interacting with our surroundings to the best of our ability. Regardless of any
circumstances, there will always be a driving force behind the skill of literacy. As I develop
through the skill of literacy, my goal is to be able to accept the fact that reading and writing
continues to evolve and that the term literacy is ambiguous. There is not a clear-cut definition on
what it means to be literate but our experiences in literacy will grow and we as individuals will
progress in the development of literacy as well.