Literacy and Liberty

Sons and Daughters of Dickinson
Posted by: , October 3, 2018, 2:23 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Today, I walked to Old West and found my self in the incredibly hot Memorial Hall.  I looked around and, quite frankly, was taken aback by the sparseness of the room at first glance.  I was standing in the middle of the room, sweating, wondering to myself why there were no grandiose statues of war heroes or important figures in history, something that comes to mind for me when I think of memorials.  I live close enough to D.C. that I can take a day trip every once in a while.  Having been there, I was used to seeing the Lincoln Memorial and the new MLK monument.  These memorials are what I think are the epitome of what remembrance should be: big and in your face.  However, as I scanned the room, I looked carefully at the plaques and realized their significance was not to be undermined.  The one I found most intriguing was the plaque memorializing the soldiers from Dickinson who fought in World War II.  “IN GRATEFUL RECOGNITION OF THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF DICKINSON WHO SERVED IN THE ARMED SERVICES OF THE UNITES STATES IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR,” it reads, followed by the names of those who served.  This plaque memorializes the people who went to Dickinson and gave their lives for their country.  It was quite profound reading all of the names of the men and women from Dickinson who served.  I realized that a memorials don’t need to be in your face to get their message across. I was concentrated more on the aesthetics rather than the meaning of the memorial itself.  A memorial is about focusing on the memory of something or someone and allows for those looking at and interacting with it to look back on history to better understand the impact of past actions.

Sing to Read
Posted by: , September 20, 2018, 1:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Learning to read was difficult for me.  I used to feel so insecure in my kindergarten class that I would pick up a book and pretend to read, even though I was just looking at the words and not absorbing any information.  I felt like it came so easily to everyone else, especially to the kid who supposedly had already read Harry Potter by the time he started school.  While other kids in my class were reading aloud, I was confusing my d’s and b’s.  I don’t know why, but it just didn’t come easily to me.

My parents were a crucial part of learning to read, they would take turns reading to me every night.  They read the whole Harry Potter and Hunger Games series to me, along with many more.  However, during my struggle to read, my mom would do this incredible thing that really helped me understand how letters and words fit together.  She would spell out words in song form.  The first time I remember her singing out a word to me was with the word “the.” “T-H-E spells ‘the’!” my mom would chant every time I came across this word on a page.  As I got older, spelling tests where a challenge for me, so I would ask my mom for help.  The word “appreciate” was especially hard for me, so she made a song.  She made a song for “necessary” and “caterpillar”.

I think the combination of reading to me every night and the fact that my mom adamantly made sure I could read and write turned me into the avid reader I am today.  I love writing essays and reading new books, and I have my parents, specifically my mom, to thank for helping me through my literacy journey.

Cards Against Humanity
Posted by: , September 4, 2018, 5:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I played my first game of Cards Against Humanity over the summer at a beach house with some of my friends.  While I do not necessarily like the beach, I will vividly remember picking up a stack of seven cards and reading the outrageous sayings or words. Whether it be about insensitive topics, such as the Holocaust or slavery, or just silly phrases like “selling crack to children,” the game would never cease to make me laugh uncontrollably.  Yes, I love literature and history, but that does not impede the fact that I love to laugh.  I have struggled for many years of my life with depression and anxiety, so laughing was not very common for me.  However, being surrounded by friends and hearing them read aloud the cards each of us had put down made my day so much brighter.  Seeing the smiles on their faces and hearing them explode with laughter when we all heard the card that should most definitely win was such an amazing feeling.  When I would pick up that next card and read what was on it, I would just feel so happy.  The twelve-year-old boy in me was so excited to hear those dirty jokes.  Since this time, I have made even closer friends, and we now play in my friend’s dorm.  This game has helped me make friends because I am always up for a round, even with people I have never met before.  It brings people closer because we all share that love of raunchy humor, and we can all connect over that. While it’s not an integral part of what we learn in schools, like Frankenstein or Paradise Lost, or what we read for pleasure, such as Harry Potter,  I would argue it has still made an impact on my life.