Literacy Narrative, Part 1 Reflection

This assignment made me feel several different emotions, among them some stress and realization. In my narrative, I wrote about one of the first books I ever remember reading, how I spent most of my time as an elementary student reading to keep up with reading logs, and how I feel like I barely have time to read for fun now. I also wrote about how I am not the most fond of writing since early on, especially when it comes to writing about myself, but yet will end up past the word limit and struggle with cutting back—which literally happened with the assignment itself and still went about 15 words over the limit…

I don’t know if it was because I did not find a way to incorporate my freewrite from the pre-writing exercise or if I simply did not have words to spare but that freewrite did not make the cut. The pre-writing exercise did seem helpful while I was listing out the memories and doing the 20 questions for one of them, but then the 10-minute free-write just did not feel like enough (or maybe I am just a slow writer, still holding back from just fully freewriting, worrying about how to word things). My freewrite did not go much past half one page and I think it was simply not enough detail including any of the information from the 20 questions, so it felt like a bummer and I felt like it was cheating if I went past writing for 10 minutes. Once I started writing my narrative though, I actually just ended up incorporating a few different of my other 10 memories I had listed, so in that sense the pre-writing exercise definitely helped.

Literacy Narrative Reflection

Writing my literacy narrative was certainly an enlightening experience. Prior to this, I had never taken the time to ponder about the experiences that shaped me into the reader and writer I am today. The freewriting exercises really helped me in identifying the most memorable events from my life relating to reading and writing. With those memories in mind, I explored the origins leading to the birth of my view that reading and writing are a chore, an unpleasant task. I also examined the more recent discovery of my love for rhetoric.

Normally, I am not too self-conscious when I am writing, but this particular assignment made me realize that I have a bad habit of revising and editing as I write. I say bad because it really interrupted my thinking process. My mind would get stuck on one sentence or one paragraph, trying to perfect the diction and syntax. By the time I was done editing, I had already forgotten what I wanted to say next, so I had to waste more time re-brainstorming my ideas.

Looking back at my narrative, I believe the most eye-catching sentence is “Reading and writing are a chore.” I personally have never heard someone call reading and writing a chore, so I think a bold statement like this would certainly pique a reader’s interest.

Literary Narrative Reflection

Spoiler Alert!: Screenplay of the ending of Inception by Christopher Nolan

link to page:

I think this exercise, as cheesy as it sounds, made me realize new things about my writing style. Moreover, I think I gained insight in what kind of “learner” I am. I have realized that I have been more of a visual learner since my early years. My X-pages activity is full of many experiences of me discovering writing. After writing all of it down, it was suddenly very clear that the thing that they all have in common are that I have been inspired by experiences that involve world-building and the visual mediums.

My writing process for this narrative started by identifying the major “eras” where my attitude towards writing has changed. I mainly focused on elaborating on certain events with as much description as I can and adding my own analytical comments reflecting on those experiences. It was strange to do the freewriting exercises at first because I felt almost guilty with the amount of freedom I had with with the assignment. The free writing activity influenced the essay I eventually wrote because when I started writing the essay, I remembered to enter the mindset that I had while doing the x-pages assignments.

I think a reader would think that my statement about how the 5 paragraph essay makes us nearly identical “clones” in english class would be interesting. They may find that when they remember the times when they have read a peer’s essay on an assignment that the only differences are often word choice and order of arguments made.

Side note: I am really liking the “blog” format of many of our assignments because it feels less claustrophobic.

Literacy Narrative 1 Reflection

Please click on this hyperlink to be redirected to my literacy narrative 1 page.

When I was writing the literacy narrative, I kind of just poured my thoughts onto paper without really thinking about what I was writing. What caused this was the free-writing exercises. The exercises were great for brainstorming and was my first time trying it but definitely won’t be my last. To be completely honest, the exercises did not seem to help during the whole process, but when I was actually writing the literacy narrative, the benefits were shown evidently. A lot of what I wrote for my literacy narrative was from answering the free-writing exercises and I’m guessing its because the questions forces you to remember more details of the reading/writing memory I was trying to recall.

I learned from writing this narrative that I could write much faster than I thought. In high school, it would’ve taken me ages to write 500-700 words. I was able to easily write the same amount in a lot less time. Additionally, I had a lot of difficulty putting my thoughts into words, which hurt me in writing essays in high school. However, after doing the free-writing exercises and writing the narrative, I was able to clearly write down whatever was on my mind, it was like my fingers were on cruise control just typing away on their own. I realized in the process of writing this essay that proper brainstorming allows for a strong foundation and draft.

“I wrote what I thought was good to myself, instead of what was good to a high school teacher.” This is the last sentence of my essay and I think someone that is reading my essay would think this is the most interesting sentence because it can be related to anybody that went to high school and had to write in the “five-paragraph format”.

Literary Narrative Reflection

The X-pages warm up helped me to get into the writing mode, especially when I can just type with no concern of structure. It also made me realize that in high school I was never assigned to write narratives or write stories. It was always reading stories and analyzing. I enjoyed writing this way because it has been a while since I have before, but I look forward for other assignments like this.

I’ve always had trouble to organize my thoughts especially about what I want to write. There have been times where I would have written the major of my essay, and mentally, I would say, “I could’ve started the essay like this.” However, I would not have enough time to change my essay that drastically. My teachers have said that I start strong but stray off when I think of new ideas and perspectives. With this narrative, I was unsure what events I wanted to include. On my Google Doc, I would have multiple paragraphs of just a stream of conscious and not tie to any other paragraph. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about how I will put the paragraphs together in a cohesive way. I made sure to start relatively early because I expected myself to go back on what I wrote. The events that I choose were the most relevant to me because then I had a change in my perspective of writing. The reassurance that I can improve in writing, and it can be fun to write. I really just need to challenge myself more and be willingly to take helpful criticism. This narrative was a tad challenging because I wanted to make it light-hearted like adding small jokes but also not stray away from being serious.

I personally liked the line where I talk about writing about Minecraft in my main college essay. In though, I did not start to play Minecraft till recently. I can’t stop thinking about how I can relate starting from nothing to being successful enough to beat the Ender Dragon.

Literacy Narrative 1 Reflection

I feel very uncomfortable writing something like this, not because of the content of what you are about to read, but because I have never done something like this. I think starting with a free-writing exercise threw me out of my comfort zone, which translated to the narrative. The free-writing was a creative work, something far removed from the analytical writing I was trained to do. In my literacy narrative, you will get a brief progression of experiences that lead me to my current perception of reading and writing—analytical, puzzle-like. Though writing and reading started from an imaginative process it eventually become a bit mechanical.

Looking back at this narrative, I can see that this still holds true. I can see the seeds of creative writing elements in the stories I tell. There are glimpses of storytelling, but they are trapped behind a somewhat mechanical and segmented analytical style. Had it not been for the free-writing exercise, these elements may not have been present in the narrative. I hope to get more comfortable with this, and I want to see where this can take me. Perhaps I can rediscover that imaginative feeling.

Literary Narrative Part 1 Reflection

Before doing the X-pages exercise, I did not know how I was going to respond to this prompt. I knew that my 10th grade English class was by far the most memorable and pivotal experience I had, but I also began to remember forgotten memories. After creating my list of ten memories for the X-pages exercise, I chose the four memories/experiences that were the most essential to my development as a reader and writer. As shown by my piece, these memories were reading To Kill and Mockingbird, Romeo and Juliet, Indian Camp, and, of course, my 10th grade English class. I chose these memories because they showed a steady progression of my progress and were the most resonant with me.

When I first began writing, I was shocked with how much I truly remembered from these memories. In fact, I remembered so many details, that I had to delete some unnecessary details upon my first proofread. By doing this, my hope was to more directly show my progression as a reader/writer. If anything, writing this essay was very reflective and enlightening. Partly the reason why I feel this way was that I did not write too many personal pieces in high school. Since my essays in high school were always about the fine details in a piece of literature, I found it refreshing to write something about myself.

Literary Narrative Part 1:

Literacy Narrative 1 Reflection

Original Post

Writing this assignment overall was pretty easy for me. I have spent a lot of time reflecting on what I don’t like about writing and what might have caused it so I could develop writing strategies that work for me. I did the writing exercises knowing that that moment didn’t really define my relationship with writing for the majority of my life so writing the start of my piece was a little more challenging than the last part but it was still easy since those memories have stuck so clearly with me. 

When writing this did make me realize exactly why I do love playwriting. Playwriting you still have to worry about grammar and spelling of course but not as much as a novel. The main chunk of the piece is going to be dialogue and most people (and certainly most of my characters) don’t speak in perfect grammar, but rather in their own languages. 

I think the most interesting sentence is “I’m left handed so my writing tends to smear” since that line is actually handwritten and then smudged over to show the audience a (admittedly exaggerated) version of my messy handwriting. But picking a sentence in the text itself I’d have to say is would be “I had refrained from putting my best into essays because if I did less than great than hey, I know I could do better.”, since I feel like it is a sediment that at least a chunk of my generation has carried with them through high school. 

Literacy Narrative Reflection

I had been dreading this day, but finally, it came: the day I start my Common App Personal Statement. I stared at my computer screen thinking, trying to put something on the blank page, but nothing came. I truly had no clue where to begin. I didn’t want to write about my involvement in sports or my love for marine biology, they were too cliché; I had to write about something unique to me. Then it hit me: write about my brother.

Prior to junior year, writing had never been my strong suit. I was creative but could not put pen to paper in a transparent way. My old essays are filled with misplaced “howevers,” bad transitions, and very choppy sentences. That all changed junior year with a combination of ACT prep and a brutally hard English class. For me, junior year was a writing bootcamp.

I credit my mechanical improvement to my tutor Mikey. The Berkeley graduate spent hours working with me, forcing me to memorize the various grammar rules for the English section of the test. Slowly, throughout the first semester of junior year, I picked them up. I was able to work through the English section with relative ease. I was proud of myself for improving this much. I went from below average to near perfect on the section, it was clear my mechanics had improved. What I had not realized, though, is how it transferred over to my writing.

Ms. Everett is notorious at my high school for having the hardest class. At the end of the semester, kids come finish smiling with a C. So, going into her class I was obviously worried about the potential to have my GPA crippled. And, after the first week, I was well on track. My first quiz came back an 8%. It was a pop-quiz on the syllabus I had not read, but still, I was scared. The fact that there was a pop-quiz on the second day of school meant I had to always be prepared. Regardless of how prepared I was, it didn’t stop me from getting a C on the quiz the following day. There was little feedback on my short answer questions, so I scheduled a meeting with her. Even though this was the first one-on-one conversation I had with her, she treated me like I was an old student of hers – she got straight to the point. She told me my mechanics are off, that I change tenses, I can’t transition among other things. I knew I had to put in work if I wanted to succeed, and that is exactly what I did.

I spent countless lunch periods and after school sessions meeting with her. After every assignment, I was in her room asking for feedback. As the semester continued, it was clear my writing was improving. The combination between Mikey’s ACT prep and Ms. Everett’s one-on-one sessions, I began to feel confident in my ability to write.

Once it hit me, to write about my brother, I Instantly began to type all ideas I could on the page.  My brother has autism, but I knew writing about just that was not enough. I didn’t want it to be a pity, sob story, but I wanted to write so other people were able to understand what it was like having an autistic sibling. I ended up writing about my experience’s scuba diving with him, showcasing how under water his nervous ticks and visible anxiety disappear. How, under water, he is the same as anyone else, and, above water, he is just trying to be understood.

Literacy Narrative Reflection

I was not taught how to write a narrative during high-school. Instead, I was taught the classic five-paragraph essay that every student knows how to write. Hence, when I was writing the reflection, I felt, for the first time, freedom when I am writing. It felt like that I could write and say anything I want without worrying about the overall “structure” of the essay. Likewise, I wrote my narrative in the same fashion, free without worrying about structures.

After writing this narrative, I was surprised to re-discover that I really write like how I read. I almost had forgotten this feeling since the last time I truly wrote something as free and creative as this narrative was likely during elementary school. The years spent learning how to write using certain structures have shaped me into thinking that all essays required aspects such as introduction, conclusion, thesis, etc. Whereas in reality, I can write however I want as there are no true structure when it comes to essays.

From the readers’ perspective, I think this narrative could almost be viewed as a story. I spent a large portion of the narrative writing about my memories of my father, which I enjoyed very much. The picture of my parents also help the readers associate a face with the figure of my father, which can make reading easier and more interesting.

Narrative page: