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Category: Unit 1 (Page 1 of 20)


Briana Dobra
ENG 1101 – OL10
Professor Edelson
Unit 1 Project

Education Narrative
The education system is a complex organization in which every student, teacher, and faculty member has a different experience with. Students from different ethnicities, races, and socioeconomic backgrounds come together to learn a plethora of different things by teachers in school. Although many may come together to learn the same things, every student has a different understanding and reaction towards school and the education system. One large event, or many small events, can impact the way a student reacts towards the education system, and can aid a hand in the way they may continue their education in the near future. I, personally, had a negative reaction to school, and the education system, until one occurrence had changed the way I viewed everything completely.
My experiences from pre-k all the way till eighth grade had been the same. I had been known as a “delinquent” to many of my teachers throughout my grade school, and middle school. From a very young age, I constantly felt the need to protect myself and my twin brother, this included from my fellow peers, and teachers. I had always been in the dean’s room, especially after a verbal altercation with teachers and students, which led to the constant use of the nickname “delinquent” by my teachers. I had always felt like an outcast by my teachers, which in turn led to further ridicule by other students. These occurrences, including me standing up and fighting for my twin brother that was being severely bullied, led to me being constantly suspended, and out of class.
Continuing, after regularly being in the dean’s office, this negatively led to a drop in my grades, and me not wanting to continue learning. I struggled with the reading materials as it was only a dense textbook with no substance, and the classes relied on grades heavily by tests held in class. This gave me little to no room for improvement, in all subjects. This disappointed my parents. I was born from parents who fled from war and genocide in the early nineties. I was the product of immigrants, and their only wish for my siblings and I was to get the education that was never granted to them. This was their American dream for us. In the poem Mexican American Disambiguation by José Olivarez, José sheds light on the daily struggles of immigrants and their children. “My parents were undocumented when they came to this country & by undocumented, i mean sin papeles, & by sin papeles, i mean royally fucked which should not be confused with the American dream though the two are cousins.” José depicts how tough the American dream is by his use of language in this quote.
I had been stuck in detention many days out of the year, I had started to gain guidance from one of the dean’s that worked there. Michael had taught all of my older siblings, before I got to middle school, in computer class. Although Michael was a computer teacher and a dean, he always sat by me and helped me study when I couldn’t do it alone. Michael helped push me for several good things such as being a better test taker, doing my homework, studying, and taking better notes. I felt motivated in a good way when I was around Michael. Despite the fact that I had more of the help I needed with school work, Michael also helped me with things that would benefit me in and out of school.
Furthermore, I had a lot to learn my last year of middle school. The dean Michael had completely helped me turn my attitude around for the better. I was taught that anger isn’t the best reaction, and is usually covering up for something else like fear or hurt. I was both fearful and hurt. I was afraid of disappointing my parents, and hurt of how things were going with other teachers, and myself. In turn, Michael urged me to write apology notes to others, and to myself. I didn’t know it fully then, but it’s something I hold of great value today. We must not hold on to the bad things in life, and learn to not only try to understand others, but yourself as well. I hadn’t known it then, but Michael had taught me some of the most fundamental knowledge I have. In another piece written by José Olivarez, José writes “We were empty bank accounts and it was our teachers’ responsibility to deposit facts.” This quote depicts exactly what I felt with my dean/teacher Michael. I was an empty bank account, and with his help and knowledge I had gained so much of who I am today.
One teacher in our education systems can change us as we may know it. Many will experience negative reactions, and it can completely alter how we view teachers, school, and the entire education system. I had several bad instances with the school, but one huge positive event that altogether restored my faith in teachers and school. I became very successful in high school after Michael’s guidance, and never once got in trouble. I personally progress day by day, and I still give credit to the advice and direction I was pushed in at a younger age.

Week 5

Jade Wearing

Week 5

My experience with education can be seen as both positive and negative. I believe that education is very important and useful but I also believe that not everything a person learns or may learn is important and relevant in their lives. There were times where I have done really well in classes that I was most interested in and enjoyed being in, and there were times where I have done very poorly in the classes that I didn’t find interesting or relevant to me and what I wanted to do and didn’t take it seriously. There was also a point of time where I was getting teased a lot in school which impacted the way I was and the way I performed in school. During these tough times, I turned to something positive which helped me get through it, and it this case it was video games. With the help of video games in my life and my love for playing them, getting through school was so much easier and better for me which was and is a major factor on how I view school and education.

Week 4

Week 4

Olivarez, “Maybe I Could Save Myself by Writing”

When the author, Olivarez, was a teen, he felt like he didn’t belong anywhere and that he didn’t fit in. He felt like a teen that was just trying to make it through each day and didn’t have and feel the strength and courage to “fit in”. After a while, he decided to start writing and wrote a book of poems on his experiences as a teen. Although he decided to write a book of poems, he didn’t like poetry at first, but through certain experiences, he later found love for it.

Olivarez talks about how poorly poetry was taught and how ineffective teaching used to be back when he was in grade school. He lived and attended school in Chicago, in a working class suburb. Furthermore, he describes education as, “We were empty bank accounts, and it was our teachers’ responsibility to deposit facts.” He follows that up by saying he doesn’t remember much about his childhood as it was years ago before he wrote this article. The purpose of telling the audience about this stuff is to show how much he doesn’t know and doesn’t remember and to give people more hope about writing.

Olivarez was born and raised under a Mexican household, where both of his parents are Mexican and were born in Mexico, but lived in the U.S. to be as an American. From there, he knew he didn’t fit in and belong with the society whereas he knew he was going to be “different” from everybody else. He was even rejected from a preschool based on his heritage, and when he reached high school, he knew he needed to move to Mexico and away from the U.S. because he will be more accepted. He eventually got a chance to live in Mexico with his grandparents for a while but he was even rejected then as people in Mexico were calling him to be as an American. It was then when he turned to books to try to answer all of his questions. He read books from authors that were or went through similar experiences that him and his family went through.

In his high school, they had a poetry club in which he joined and found love for poetry. He loved and enjoyed watching his classmates perform poetry and even felt a spark inside of him. It was then when he realizes writing can come in and save him and answer all of his questions.

With a new view and attitude towards writing, Olivarez relationship with school and education has shifted. He stopped doing good in classes that didn’t really see him as a student in the classroom. Then he adapted a new view of education by just accepting all the knowledge he was taught to be a fact even if it wasn’t which made school much easier for him. With all the information given to him, he thinks about what is being left out and what stories are not being told. With this, his thinking and writing has gotten more in dept. Through his writing, he wishes to grow and learn even more and help other people out with their lives.

Olivarez, “Mexican American Disambiguation”

This is a poem talking about the author and his family and what they identify as. Olivarez and his family can be mistaken as so many identities and this poem basically tries to clear it all up. People with different races and heritages all identifies people like Olivarez differently and calls them different things. Some people might call them diverse, while others just call them to be a specific type of person in which would separate and split people a part. Things they do, are to be described as diverse like them doings things that are considered to be a culture of another race, for example, eating foods that aren’t from where you are considered to be from. Olivarez and his family are citizens of the U.S. and want to be seen and treated as that and not like someone different. This poem shows how society can treat them differently even though they shouldn’t.

Hobson, “The Cage Bird Prevails”

This is an article about how adversity has a major impact on the author’s life. It talks about how the author lives for adversity and fighting against and how their personal experiences with adversity helped shape who they are today.

When Hobson was in junior high, it was hard for them to read and it impacted on how they would do in their class. They had a hard time reading books and refused to read in out loud in class to avoid the feeling of embarrassment and disgrace. It was then when they found the love and interest in reading and writing. They were determined to better their skills so they can feel confident about doing it in public.

In the author’s life, there were a lot negative things that impacted how he acts now and his view on things. There was a point of time where the author was heavily influenced by gangs and even went to jail because of it which they found to be very challenging. As a result of this, Hobson realized they wanted more and better for themselves, so he put his mind on studies which helped turned his life in a new and better direction.

In this new direction, they first started to find a career that would maximize their intellectual capacity which was to be a paramedic. They love to help people in need and wanted to do something that involved that and didn’t want anything to get in the way of that. Even though they found a potential career they could’ve had pursued, they were still going through things which led them in a different track. They later found out that being a paramedic isn’t a career you should pursue and then went on to try to pursue a career in the medical field. One of their college professors helped them lead to the best career choice for them and it is something they will never forget. If it weren’t for the negative influences in their life, they wouldn’t even know where life would’ve taken them and if it would’ve been for the better or worse.

What the texts have in common:

These texts are all similar as where the author’s showed how their personal experiences and the negative things in their lives shaped the way they live and the way they view education. It is also similar as where both of the author’s weren’t good in school and then later on performed very well in it. No matter on what experiences a person is going through or went through, whether it is positive or negative, it can shape the way you are in the future. I think all of these texts are relatable as in school can be a very tough thing to go through and experience but with the right stuff, school can be very beneficial. The way both of these author’s communicate this message is by talking about their personal experiences like the stuff they went through and the things they did and how it later on impacted them and their lives.

week 3

Bunn, “How to read like a writer”

Mike Bunn is a college graduate who lived and worked in London and worked at a palace theatre that was very beautiful. One can see that his job was not cared about where the workers didn’t really pay attention to their job’s. While the author was working, he always used to try to read books and it was then he realized how to read like writers.

Writing is a word-by-word, sentence-by-sentence process. Writing also consists of Series of Choices. When you read to have to figure out the choices the writer made and why and see how it reflects to your own writing. Think about the writer choices and their techniques used in their writing. Try to look for where the writer made the most important choices and then think how it would’ve been with other choices and the effects of it. You can make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of different choices.

If you don’t understand or don’t know what you are reading about, you have to read like a writer to understand the concept behind it.

Reading like a writer is considered to be the best way to read but the most difficult. When we read like writers, we are basically entering the lives of the writers and understanding why they did certain things and made certain choices. Two key things you must consider doing is understanding the context of both the text and what you are doing like your assignment as well as the historical context. Try to understand the context before you start reading.

It is also important to understand the genre of what you are reading. Genre is the type of writing a writer uses in the text. Not all Genres work for everything that you are going to write about so it is key to figure out how are you going to write and why.

Reading like a writer for well written texts from like well published authors can be really helpful on improving your writing. Asking questions as you read can also be helpful. Two keys questions to remember when reading is what is the writer’s purpose and their intended audition. Factors like who the intended audience is will help determine the way to write and present the text. Asks question like is the writing appropriate and effective.

TAKE NOTES AND ANNOTATE! The more you practice reading like a writer the better.

I love the way Dunn broke down the very first paragraph of the article with reading like a Writer. Him doing that help shows how important and impactful reading like a writer can be.

Toni Morrison, “The Reader as Artist”

The opening paragraph allows the reader to use their imagination, picturing all the events that are happening in the description and events that are not. The author’s style of writing was so descriptive where the author described everything that was happening with the use of metaphors.

Reading as a skill and reading as an art are both good as in reading as a skill is like more for understanding things and reading as an art is like going along with the reading and going along with it feeling and seeing certain things about what you are reading.

The way Toni Morrison writes, to me it is very imagery where I can picture all the events she to trying to convey.

One can see that Morrison uses third person to describe events that are actually happening in first person. Even though it is in third person, it is still relatable and connectable to first person experiences.

Favorite note

I found that reading word-by-word. Sentence-by-sentence and understanding writer’s choices is really interesting because I don’t think I ever got that deep in a reading to understand the authors word choice and me reading more about this really helped me see how important an author’s word may be and how it had an impact in the text.

3 important notes

How to read like a writer

  • Understand the author’s choices of the reasons they chose to write in that specific way
  • Try to understand the context of whatever you are reading as it will help you understand it more
  • Ask questions frequently

The reader as Artist

  • Reading doesn’t only have to be a skill, it can be a form of art
  • Reading can be as creative and fun as possible
  • Reading as an art can provide so many new forms of reading and writing, just like how reading as a skill can, that can be so important in a person reading and writing skills


“Skill is enough, but I prefer the art.” I found this to be the most interesting because it shows that you don’t have to read as a skill, but as an art. Reading as an art can have as much of an impact as reading as a skill or maybe more. I haven’t really thought of reading as an art but this really opened my eyes on the different ways reading and writing can be both viewed and formed.

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