My Literacy Autobiography
College student literacy is a hard term to define. According to the Webster's Dictionary, College is a school that you can attend after high school. A student is defined as a person who attends either a school or college. Finally, literacy is defined as the ability to read or write. As a whole, college student literacy is the ability of a person to study reading or writing at an educational institution after high school. My college student literacy will tell the story of the moment that I fell in love with reading, my current literacy practices, and my adaptation to the world of digital literacy.
The moment I fell in love with literature happened when I was a young child. Five minutes was the amount of time it took my dad to drive my brother, my mom, and myself to the school's annual scholastic book sale. Yet that short amount of time was nearly unbearable. I alternated between poking my brother, Alex, and looking out the window while fidgeting in my seat. My mom turned around, a soft smile betraying her amusement as she asked me to settle down.
Taking my hand in his much larger and warmer one, my dad walked me inside of the elementary school. Around us groups of parents and children, both old and young, were just as excited. The school was brightly lit and all the reflective and bright decorations kept drawing my attention. At least until we came to the cafeteria.
Bookshelves on wheels formed a semicircle stuffed with books and trinkets. Tables covered in white paper held an assortment of books. Cooking books, science books, fiction books, and nonfiction books were displayed cheerfully. I was attracted to the odds and ends placed in separate bins. My hands clasped around a purple pen with a fuzzy top. Pressing the button on the side, I watched, awed, as the top popped off and fell only connected by a string.
"Abbey, come over here," My dad called out softly, waving to me from one of the tables. I obediently walked over, smiling up at him as he swung me up in his arms. A flash of purple caught my attention from the corner of my eye. I grabbed the book and ran my hands over the smooth cover.
Silver and pink flowers flowed from the binding all the way to the far corners. An oval cut out of a vintage photograph was placed near the top, centered directly in the middle. Little children with wings were drawn dancing among the flowers, their smiles splitting their faces. In fancy type across the top was the title, Fairyopolis.
I begged my parents to buy me the fairy book and they finally agreed that it could be my one book. We left soon after. This trip I was even more restless, knowing that my book was in the trunk of the car. As soon as the car was parked I was standing beside the trunk, shifting from foot to foot as I watched my dad come closer.
My dad walked me inside and sat me down on the floor of my room and took out the book. Even though he would rather be outside, throwing the ball around and playing chase with our German Shepard, like we usually spent the warm summer days, he pulled me atop his lap and propped the book open. The rest of the night he read aloud the journal entries of a man who discovered the existence of fairies on his land and their mischievous nature. The realistic drawings and my father's soothing voice enchanted me into the world of literature.
Not only has my literacy grown since the time my dad read me Fairyopolis, my love of fantasy stories has as well. Nowadays, I am commonly found with my nose buried in a book about werewolves, shadow fae, or assassains. Along with my love for reading, my fascination with writing has improved. One of my best memories with writing was when my friend and I passed a notebook back and forth each week. In the notebook we would each write a chapter and the other would continue where it was left off at.
The medium of literature has changed much since I first fell in love with reading. One such positive change in technology has been the way that I read and stay connected. My Nook, a touch screen E-Reader from Barnes and Noble, allows me to buy books for pleasure reading or required school reading materials with only a five second delay. My laptop is just as fast. I can research a topic in seconds or read stories written on by aspiring authors. In addition, lets hundreds of people read, comment on, and criticize the stories and essays that I have published.
On the other hand technology has had a few minor negative effects. Now whenever I look up information, I can only read an article for a few minutes before I get bored and move on to the next one. In addition, if the information takes more than a minute to load then I often give up on it altogether. The easy access of the stories either by my smartphone or iPod, have also affected my attention span. I can barely go a full 30 minutes of not reading before I am looking up a new story or finishing a chapter.
Throughout the years, my choice in reading has gone through phases, yet I always come back to the fantasy genre in both digital and regular literacy. I attribute this to the fact that my dad read to me as a child. I only hope that someday I can inspire someone to love reading and writing as much as I do.