Literacy and Liberty

Almost Ambidextrous
Posted by: , September 20, 2018, 5:41 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I cannot pinpoint my exact age when I picture the first moment in my memory connecting to reading or writing. In my mind’s eye I can imagine precisely where I am standing, almost like watching an old video, in front of the off-white colored refrigerator rearranging magnetic letters to form simple words. I do not recall what words I had yet learned to form, but I know that the magnets were red and slightly peeling from the usage of two sisters before me.

Once I learned to read small things, I frantically tried to absorb everything that I possibly could. I had two older sisters who were both fairly competent readers by that point, and they used to enjoy taunting me about my own inadequate skills. One of my most favorite activities was reading to the family dog. I thought that she was the most captivated listener and I would read to her whenever I was able. I used to take great pleasure in riding in the car and shouting the names of all the street signs that I could read as loud as I could. I quickly was given the moniker “bookworm” and I absolutely loved it.

My experience with learning to write involved somewhat more of a “love/hate” relationship than that of reading. I identify as almost ambidextrous. I say almost because I was raised right-handed but do many activities with my left. The Catholic pre-school that I went to when I was aged three and four years apparently believed that none of the children should learn to write with anything but their right hand. That is why, when I began to show signs of that sinful left-handed dominance, I was forced to switch hands. As a result of this discomfort with writing early on, I had great difficulty forming letters and grasping how to write as quickly as my peers. To this day, I still hold my chosen writing implement in a bizarre position which resembles that of a child who has never written before. Moreover, my handwriting I have been told, is as close to “chicken scratch” as could be.

Reading a Map
Posted by: , September 5, 2018, 2:51 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I seldom make generalized statements about myself, and I am always trying to become better at everything that I do. Nonetheless, the one thing that I can guarantee will never change is my horrible sense of direction. When I have a schedule that I must follow, it is extremely difficult for me to arrive on time unless I know exactly to where I must go. To ease my anxiety about becoming quickly lost and confused while navigating this, not even particularly large, campus, I downloaded the Dickinson app onto my cell phone. One of the features within this application includes a campus map. Using this app, I am able to search for specific buildings within several different sections of campus. For example, if one needs to locate Kaufman, one simply must type its name into the search bar and a map will appear. Despite the usefulness of this map, I find myself easily misreading the instructions and becoming more lost than I ever had been at the beginning. It is therefore necessary for me to put down my electronic map and actually ask someone to point me in the direction of my intended destination. When I inevitably get myself lost despite my usage of a map, I find it somewhat amusing (once I have found my way). An important form that literacy takes is one’s ability to read and understand a map. I am a seemingly literate individual; however, if I was to be put into a situation where my life and wellbeing depended on my ability to read a map, I would be deemed nearly entirely illiterate.