Area 1: Self as a Reader
From the beginning of the semester I had no trouble with trying to connect with the readings that we were given in class. This was a good start for me considering how connecting with the text plays into how well your experience will be with reading in general. Most of the readings that we were given were by authors that I could see myself in, especially because of their struggles throughout their upbringing. Their lives have been shaped by social setbacks such as lack of support by others and economic status, aspects of their lives that I can relate to especially as a person of color. In the text, Francine Prose’s Problem, by Gina Apostol, the author states “doubling makes any reading of a white-dominant text by a person of color quite fascinating”. The fascinating part of it is that readers who do not identify with any character in the text may still apply their experiences and connect the text with one they might have read in the past. An intertextual coupling that we have read this semester was Superman and Me by Sherman Alexie and My Mother’s Garden by Kaitlyn Greenidge. While reading one it made me think of how similar they were to one another, within both texts the authors go over struggles of finding themselves within a setting that is not very supportive of them. My development as a reader throughout this semester included strengthening my ability to spot those details and relate it to my own personal life.
Area 2: Writing Situations
A constructed sentence is like taking a polaroid snapshot in that as a writer one must gather information on a topic, and when you write out a sentence you are documenting. This allows the writer to further develop their ideas and out comes the bigger picture. As a writer, my goal has been about allowing my ideas to live out as words and in the process give me and others a better understanding of the topic being covered. One example of this would be when I wrote about Beloved Enemy by Leonard Kriegal. I went over the author’s negative thoughts on the lack of accessibility in the city of New York. He critiques New York for its lack of making disabled people like himself have an easier time moving about in the city really opened my eyes as a writer. As I wrote about his feelings my concern about the situation began to take form and I soon found myself feeling empathetic about his struggles. With my writing I focused on trying to parallel what he made me feel and how others should care about it to.
Area 3: Language and Identity
In the text, If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me What Is? by James Baldwin, the author states that language is “a political instrument, means, and proof of power. It is the most vivid and crucial key to identity: It reveals the private identity, and connects on with, or divorces one from, the larger, public or communal identity” (781). The readings of the texts that I have been presented this semester has allowed me to connect with others who have shared similar struggles as me. I have learned how these authors dealt with pain and what they took from it. For example, with Alexie in Superman and Me, despite his classmates trying to bring him down for wanting to live out his interest with learning, he grew up to become what he was passionate about. As for writing, I have improved in sharing what I have to say by connecting more with what other writers have to say. To me, learning to express one’s thoughts begins with having a strong understanding with how other people express themselves and why they do it.