Isaiah Reyes December 6, 2010 My Literacy Story As I sat there in my room a 17 year old college student, I was contemplating about reading a book that my aunt gave me as a dorm gift. I finally came to a conclusion that I was not going to read the book. When people ask me, “Do you like to read?” and I answer “Sometimes”, they never ask me “Why is it just sometimes?” Well, I can tell you why I only read certain things. It all started when I was about 4 years old, I was about to start attending kindergarten and my parents wanted me to be ahead of the other little kids in the class. So they decided to teach me how to read with the assistance of Hooked on Phonics. I was using it every day, even on weekends. Back then, I enjoyed learning something new and plus I was learning it very quickly. So, in about a couple of months I was already reading on a first grade level. By the time school started, I was already ahead of the curriculum of the reading and writing classes, so I wouldn’t pay attention during that part of class. By me not paying attention in class, the teacher would always call on me to read the stories that we were reading in class. But one thing the teacher didn’t know about me was that I was shy so, I didn’t like reading in front of the other kids in the class and when I read to them I always messed up while I was reading. Then, she would put notes in my book bag and tell my parents that I need help with my reading. So, my parents decided that I needed to have “reading aloud time” at home. The first book I read aloud at home was “Hop on Pop” by Dr. Seuss. I did just fine reading at home but I brought it into class for “Favorite Book Day” and messed up on it horribly. My teacher put the most memorable note in my book bag that day. It was memorable because I got whipped like a slave, then my made me read every single Dr. Seuss book in one day. Now we going to fast forward to the summer before my 6th grade year, when I was about 11 years old and I got a letter in the mail from my middle school telling me that I had to do a summer reading assignment that required me to read the mandatory book and to be prepared for a test on the book. It so happened to be that the book was “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. I didn’t think that the book would be long so I went to Barnes and Nobles to get the book so I could read it at the beginning of the summer. This was my first time going to Barnes and Nobles, so I asked the clerk “Which section is Harry Potter in?” She showed me where it was and I picked up the book and had a shocked look on my face because I saw that it had about 600 to 700 pages. My mother told me I was getting the book so I bought the book and started reading it that same day. I personally didn’t like the book because it was fantasy-like story. That was when I realized I liked non-fiction book and biographies more than fantasy and fiction books because every time I read that Harry Potter book I would fall asleep out of boredom. I didn’t get to finish the book before the school year started. I got into my English class and I asked the teacher about the test for the book, and he told me that the school just says that there is going to be a test for the book so that students can build up their reading skills. I felt so relieved when he said that and I guess he saw that and he saw that and asked me “Did you read the book?” and I told him “Yes, but I never finished it”. He told me to still finish the book but I never did till this day. I never did another summer reading assignment while I was in school. There are things I would pick up and read on my own when I have free time. My favorite book is “Black Like Me” by John Howard Griffin because it talks about how it was to be an African American in the Deep South during segregation, but what makes it a great book is that it is a Caucasian man that used mediation to darken his skin to look black and wrote a journal of his life everyday life as a black man and published it. It makes you think about the past. I like books like “Black Like Me” because it is what is real and it also makes you think about life. I also like books that tell the story of people that influenced me through politics, entertainment, and business affairs. I have read autobiographies and biographies of many people like Michael Jordan, Russell Simmons, Nikki Giovanni, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump. I also like to read poetry from Maya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Tupac Shakur, and many hip hop artist. I also like to write poetry and songs during my free time. It lets me express myself without saying on my mind but still let emotions out. I also like to read my own literacy work because when I read it, it makes me dream of it being published and othe people can be touched by my work of expression. As you can see it is not that I don’t read, it is just that I don’t like being forced to read something. I rather read something on my own that will either interest me or inspire me to create my own literacy work.