Education narrative

I had my last interview and received my visa with hope and joy. I came to the United States when I was fifteen years old. I stayed home for three months before I started high school and became interested in American tv shows like high school musical,Camp Rock and Victorious. I thought high school was going to be just like what I saw on TV but I was wrong. My first day was horrible and devastating. I was bullied because of how I spoke. People started staring at me in a very shady way. I even thought I was going to get jumped. My thought was to either stay home or transfer to a different school. My parents motivated me and I went back to school the following day.

Luckily one of the students approached me. His name was siddiq and he volunteered to show me around campus. We became fast friends.  We scheduled classes together and walked around the school. Siddiq helped me connect with his friends and I gradually befriended them. We were seven in total,four boys and three girls. One girl was from nigeria , the other girl was from Belize and one boy was from Yemen. The rest were Spanish . We organized a group chat to keep in touch with each other. We talked about our family and personal problems. The group became tighter and tighter knit because we knew each other’s stories and constantly advised each other when we were going through rough times. We even told each other secrets. We were so close that I considered them as family. It felt good to be part of a group.

Meeting siddiq and becoming friends with everyone changed my attitude towards high school and education. Before , when I lacked a support group, I was withdrawn and unmotivated to go to school. But after I became part of a group, I grew excited about school again. My grades increased, and I developed a better relationship with my teachers. I didn’t worry anymore about the people who weren’t supportive. I felt safe because I had a group of friends who would go to any extent to help me. Overtime I was able to concentrate even more and became enthused about expressing my thoughts in class.

I wasn’t interested in reading and writing till my junior year in high school.  My English teacher gave us a book to summarize at the end of the week. It was a struggle for me because I have always seen reading as boring. I later found out that our summarized results will count as fifty percent of our final grade, so I had no choice but to read. I had the same experience as Malcolm x.  I felt connected to the book and visualize myself in many places. I also used my resource which is the dictionary to define some of the words and to break the text down. I also noticed an improvement in my vocabulary. My essays were structured properly and I started to receive positive feedbacks from my teachers. Overall I started excelling in English and writing and in all my classes that requires essay.

personal experience

Arnelle Martinson


Social media has been able to take away people’s social life nowadays, but as far as for me my only way of communicating how I feel is through my journal. My journal has really became my safe haven. I had gone through one of the most traumatic experience in my life. I thought I had real friends at one point in middle school, friends who are going to be supportive and not turn their backs against me. In middle school I had three friends. We started off as great and had no worries but one of the girls who seemed like the group leader of our friendship became jealous of me. She started throwing subliminals at me and the other two friends laugh along with her. Instead of being my friends like I thought they where they became my bullies.

At first, I ignored their mean comments ;I also kept my distance from them. Yet, they never stopped bothering me and making me feel like an outcast. I was upset and I decided to confront them. The confrontation did not end well. It turned into a fight and it was three against one. This fight was a traumatic experience because my hair extensions were pulled out along with my natural hair. Not only was my hair pulled out but I had no one to talk to after the altercation. I was lonely and it felt like as I walked through the hallways I felt judged and uncomfortable . My English teacher saw that I was not the same as I was before the fight and she realized I had no friends. I also used to participate in class alot but I stopped completely and I became silent. My teacher spoke with me one day after class and recommended I write everyday in my journal about how I felt and how my day went.

The journal, may have been the best thing that ever happened to me. I was able to write about how angry ,happy and miserable I was, without the feeling of being judged by anyone. I had also improve my social skills and began expressing myself more in class without fear. I never cared about those girls anymore and they were surprised that I was also able to make new friends who respected me. In the end, writing helped me express my feelings that was harbored inside my head for too long.

literacy narrative

Arnelle Martinson

Professor Jewell

English 1101



                                                    Literacy Narrative



              Social media has been able to take away people’s social life nowadays, but as far as for me my only way of communicating how I feel is through my journal. My journal has really became my safe haven. I had gone through one of the most traumatic experiences in my life. I thought I had real friends at one point in middle school, who are going to be supportive and not turn their backs against me. Yet, my assumptions of those friends being loyal towards me was wrong.

                 In middle school I had three friends. We started off as great and had no worries. Although throughout the friendship, one of the girls who acted like the group leader of our friendship became jealous . I never understood her jealousy towards me. I had always supported her and shared everything I had with her. She started throwing subliminals at me and the other two friends laughed along with her. She also started to make rumors about me, for example she told everyone how I stole candy from the teachers desk and  she made me look like I was using her to have popularity in our grade. Instead of being my friends like I thought they where they became my bullies.

                At first, I  ignored their mean comments ;I also kept my distance from them. Yet, they never stopped bothering me and making me feel like an outcast. They continued to judge me based on the clothes I wore since they were not name brand. Also they brought my self esteem down because I was constantly called ugly and hideous. I was upset and I decided to confront them. The confrontation did not end well. One of the girls slapped me and we started throwing hands at each other. All three girls ganged up on me and we fought back and forth. This fight was a traumatic experience because my hair was pulled out and my hair is very precious to me . Not only was my hair pulled out but I had no one to talk to after the altercation. I was lonely and it felt like as I walked through  the hallways I felt judged and uncomfortable. I felt everyone staring at me. It seemed like they were looking at me to see if I was broken which i was. I felt like I no longer belonged at that school. I wanted to change schools and start over. However, I thank my english teacher, Ms.Stringer for checking up on me and seeing if I was okay. My English teacher saw that I was not the same as I was before the fight. She realized I had no friends and I became very distant from the world. I also used to participate in class alot but I stopped completely and I became silent. Ms.Stringer spoke with me one day after class. She told me that usually bullies are upset with themselves and when they see others who are confident and secure they want to bring them down. She explained to me how I shouldn’t let the fight define me as weak but show me that I can break through obstacles.  She also recommended I write everyday in my journal. Ms.Stringer explained to me that writing would help me define myself and let out my emotions in a safe space

              The journal, may have been the best thing that had ever happened to me. I was able to write about how angry ,happy and miserable I was, without the feeling of being judged by anyone. I had also improve my social skills and began expressing myself more in class without fear of being judged. I never cared about those girls anymore and they were surprised that I was also able to make new friends who respected me. The journal was a breakthrough for me and I feel like if anyone is going through problems or a traumatic situation, they need to speak to someone first and begin writing their emotions and feelings down because they would be able to overcome that state of unhappiness or depression and become strong and confident in themselves.


As the plane lands on the runaway of the Mali airport, tension grew, no english speakers. July 16, 2014 summer my parents sent my older sister and I to Mali, a West African country. With no adults I was intimidated by every sand and move. Our uncle comes to pick us up at baggage claim. He speaks Bambara, Malis native language. I looked at my sister and she looked at me back , we communicated with gestures. So we got to the car and he drove us. I was skeptical the whole ride. It was night time , dark and I heard the crickets chirping. We get to the house and they started speaking bambara. I sort of understood but it wasn’t a language I was fluent in. A man comes out of a room and my other uncle Cal comes out and says “ Hi my name is Cal”. I was so happy as if I was about to cry of joy. He asked me if we understood the language and I said my sister understood it was better than me so I relied on her a lot. So we go to sleep , I wake up and my sister wasn’t there. So I jolted out of my bed and I look at my aunt with fear. I don’t know these people and they are speaking a foreign language. My uncle that speak english comes out and tells me my sister went to the store to get a sim card for our phones. That’s how I know not knowing a language is fearful, I’m hungry so I go downstairs. My grandma is cooking over the big pot , it was a big house with a lot of people. My grandma said “Doumene“ and I know what it meant , it meant food . and she knew I was hungry so she gave out the food. I ate the food so fast that everyone started laughing . An hour passed by and my sister came home. I was a little mad at her but I felt a little more safe. A week passed by and I started understanding and speaking bambara a little better. I was in Mali throughout half the summer and I was 85% good with the language. So we started our trip to the Ivory coast. I was given a fake student ID to get into there by a coach bus. My sister told me not to speak english because since we American they can rob us or worse.  So I didn’t speak the whole 3 days because I was scared, even though I spoke it and you can tell I wasn’t trying to sound fluent. We go to the airport and I asked my sister “ Do you think our mom was scared when she arrived in New York ? Because she didn’t speak Enligsh .” My sister said “ yeah she was at first ”. When I arrived to mali without knowing the language, there was a sense of fear I haven’t felt before. It was like your protective bubble popped and you dont know whats going on. So I believe American education is important to people who aren’t from here (America ) because I felt insecure for my time staying in Africa, it’s beneficial to learners. 

Literacy narrative

Suraya jahan                                                                                   9/11/19


               Literacy narrative 


                We need to change our mentality and judgments when we see different kinds of people that are different cultures from other countries. I had my personal experience when people judge my cousin in front of me without knowing him. My cousin Nil is a very intelligent student he is from bangladesh. He has a really good sense of humor where he can understand a lot of unknown things.


              One day I was walking with him around our house and he was wearing some traditional cloth. After walking 10 minutes some bangali guy saw him and started talking about him. They wear judging him based on his clothes and looks. They wear saying lots of mean and rude things to him; they wear saying he work in a frame, why did he came here?  He can go back and he belong in animals house and field. 


          I got so mad that I wanted to fight with them, then my cousin stopped me. After few minutes what Nil said I was shocked and surprised at the same time. He replied politely in English he said “ I know I’m not American but without an immigrant like me the united states wouldn’t be a country”. He also though them a lesson by telling then how to talk to other people and respect other race of people; and not to think about yourself as the only smart person. They understood when he spoke better english than him, he thought them not to be judgmental. It is not right to judge someone by just looking at their looks and clothes.


     That day, I remember when I had to face problems like this. When I came to America 6 years ago I had to face a lot of problems. The biggest problem that I had to face was in school I didn’t know proper English that time.I had to take morning and after classes to learn better English. The most important thing to do in school was reading and writing and I had a problem reading all the time also I didn’t know how to write in a proper way. One day my teacher told me to read in front of the whole class I couldn’t read because I didn’t know how to read that upper level English. That I felt so low that I had that anger to learn English the best way I can. I worked hard everyday I used to ready books morning and night time before I go to bed. After 6  to 7 month my teacher noticed my English reading and writing. She was surprised to see my improvement.  

I was really happy to hear when my teacher compliments me. 


     I had to also face how I dressed go school but I was strong didn’t care what other said. I ignored all the people who said I look ugly and I need to dress up like them. I said I won’t change just because I don’t look like you guys if I need to change I will change for my self not for others. That’s day one girl came up to me and said that she was thinking wrong, she told me what happens with her how she was bullied when she first came to school because of the way she dresses up. That day she thanks me she said that she learned how to reply when she is not wrong. I felt proud of myself when I actually give a lesson to other people and they learned, also she used that power to explore her feelings and self-respect.


      As a result, I learned a lot of things from my life experiences, and I also though other people who faced the same problem as me. Never forget to answer back in a right way when you know you are not wrong. Also don’t make feel other people that you are weak so they can’t take any advantage of your weakness. 

Literacy Narrative

Shamefully holding up a fake smile just to point out that “I’m not hurt,” to show everyone else that having a lisp wasn’t really a problem and that their jokes and laughs didn’t affect me, but it did. Growing up I felt different wanting to interact with people and always answering the teachers questions, but still somehow always quiet.I felt like I wanted to be alone but part of me wanted to open out more, creating strong friendships and short and unwelcome friendships that impacted my life drastically. It was one day in class which I was participating like there was no tomorrow not caring whether I got questions right or wrong. Throughout the day my teacher wanted everyone in the class to take turns reading, and since everyone had assigned seats based off their last name I happened to be the last person reading. There was only 2 pages remaining so I didn’t feel pressured at all until the moment I had to pronounce words such as “Ship,Time,Thought and Choose.” Hearing laughter after one mistake push shivers down my back and caused my hands to shake, having eyes glued to my face forced me to lose my train of thought, causing more and more mistakes.
This experience had a negative impact on me at first, it never crossed my mind that my lisp was that strong because in my household I was never addressed for my strong lisp, talking to my friends never was a problem which goes back to what I said on having strong friendships. But the moment that everything went “downhill”, it changed me. I told my mother when I got home and the day after I went to a speech impediment class and worked on my lisp for around a month and a half. I didn’t want to be in the class because I felt I was only there because I was made fun of in class. I had to leave class during certain hours to go and work on my lisp with the speech impediment teacher, I began to feel like I was a burden on both my teacher and myself. It came to the point that I felt that my lisp was attached to me, it even crossed my mind that “Lisp” would be on my gravestone. Week after week there was no improvement whatsoever, I still couldn’t sound the difference between “Ship” and “Chip”. After a month my strong lisp started to go down, it was still visible but not as strong as it was a few weeks ago. I began to be more anti-social in class because I didn’t want to be made fun of again because of my lisp. The moment I went home from school that same day I went straight to sleep without talking to anyone at all, the burden “on my shoulders” kept me mentally stuck not knowing what to do, having both anger and sadness built up inside of me like a water balloon waiting to be thrown to “pop” and release everything built up inside of it. I was rushing to have my lisp go away, it gave me nothing but negative energy to me, my family and my classmates. And after one more week in the speech impediment class I didn’t have to go to work on my lisp anymore. Looking back at how the personal experience shaped my relationship with reading and writing it had both a negative impact and a positive one. The reason why I said it was negative one was because being made fun of made me more anti-social for 2 to 3 years ruining some relationships I had with teachers and friends, but the reason why I would say it had a positive impact on me is because since I was alone, I had no distractions and had more time for myself in class. I wasn’t doing so well in the class but the moment that incident with my lisp happened I had the urge to do better in all of my classes all of a sudden, I had the urge to become a better reader so I wouldn’t make anymore mistakes and improved on my reading by reading books at a different grade level than what I was at. In general aspect of having a lisp was a strain on me mentally but after looking back from the position I am at now, it made me into who I am.

I cant connect

 “Oh you’re from the Bronx, how is it up there”. I was born and raised in the Bronx, a borough where you are looked down upon once you mention that you are “from the Bronx”. Truth be told, I always thought of my borough as a lovely place, home to the botanical garden, the Yankee stadium and even hailed as the boogie down or home of hip hop but I had grown up hearing only the lousy truths of the Bronx had especially when compared to the other boroughs an apparent downside was education I had always heard about the difference from my eldest sister, cousins and friends alike we weren’t taught like they were taught we don’t have the resources or books that they had but we were missing one of the more important things for education, “teachers”we saw ourselves in. 

                All throughout my years of schooling, not once was I taught by someone whom I could relate to whether it be someone I looked like or someone with a similar life to me and while I never thought much of it yet looking back this subconsciously helped fuel my disinterest in things I was once interested in such as reading and writing. As a child i would ofttimes turn on the TV and just flip through channels reading all the names that came up and in school I would be ecstatic whenever a book sale came.I loved reading and was praised for knowing an abundant amount of words Reading was an integral part of my life as a kid but that all changed as I got older and got more of the same. my teachers throughout Kindergarten to 5th grade all encouraged me to read and keep on going but it all fell flat. Not a single one was familiar they didn’t look like me act like me or even talk like me, i couldn’t see myself in any of these teachers. I’ve seen too many student’s dropout because they can’t find a “role model” or just someone in their life who will give advice to can’t relate to someone in school whether it be a teacher, student or other members of staff. 

                 My grandfather and father, two men that I act a lot like or at least i’m told who haven’t had proper education would preach to me the importance of books and education time and time again, but each time their words rang louder than any bell id ever heard and louder than any of my other teachers. It wasn’t because we were literally related but more so because I could see myself in these men. I spoke like them and acted like them, their words struck a chord that no other teachers did they reinvigorated me to continue with education and to read more and write more. They helped me see that reading is a bridge of knowledge that goes into many subjects such as history. Through reading I found out about my own heritage and about the Bronx giving me a sense of pride i could never have exuded before. I was born lucky to have these two figures in my life who don’t read as well as i do, hell I read my fathers letters and mail for him though they both upheld reading and books as the key as a way out of the “dungeon”. Violence, brutality is only shown when you do not have access to knowledge and aren’t given the right tools to try and get it.       

How I start writing

A room full of people waiting in silence, for the blue screen from a Dell 20’ monitor to change. I looked at two short #2 pencils placed on both sides of the desk. Sitting on an office chair with cushions, I was doubting my ability to pass the test. 

I stretched my back against the back of my chair, then rolled my neck back and forth. I massaged my eye sockets, pressed down onto the bridge of my nose, pushed on my temples, then rubbed the back of my neck and finally my earlobes. 

None of this, an attempt to relax my body, did anything but make me more anxious. I have two dictionaries with me, a thesaurus that cost two dollars from the dollar store, and an old Oxford pocket dictionary that my wife gave to me. The inspector tells me that I can only bring one into the exam.

Since English is my second language, taking a test without the resources I needed was a disadvantage. Frustrated, I chose the normal dictionary over the thesaurus due to the fact that I needed to understand the words rather than choosing. The test started with a timer whose big red numbers alerted students of their remaining time. I felt that time was slipping by,  60 out of 90 minutes had already passed. I wrote the paragraph summaries, developed my ideas for a response, provided a personal experience, and drafted a conclusion. Five minutes before time would be called. I rushed to the conclusion and finished it.

Writing was always a challenge for me; it was something I grappled with for a long time. I am not a writer and yet, there is a persistent spark deep within that burns – a desire to write. Where did it find its fuel? Was it because my father wrote a short story entitled “Road” for my writing competition in school? A short story, that won the highest award but was never truly my own. Or was it because I really did not learn how to write? 

When I tried to write, in English the words escape me, in my native tongue, Korean, I avoided writing. I didn’t want to practice or I don’t know how to practice. Practice was the key to success but I found it difficult to develop a coherent story. I did not focus. I would write about apples and then jump to alligators – the connection was lost. 

On the other hand, for me reading was much easier than writing. I remember growing up reading many Korean books; I especially enjoyed short stories. My mom joined a book renting program that delivered different books every month. I loved reading those books, sometimes I wanted to read more than once a month. 

The other moment when I truly enjoyed books was in the military. Since serving in the armed forces is mandatory for men in Korea, I served for about two years. It was so hard feeling isolated but books kept me going. I read a small Buddhist bible during my night rounds for two and a half hours, reading that book gave me peace. In contrast to the strict rules of the army, this book was a sanctuary. As I rose in ranks, I had more free time and less work. 

The military department sent a set of bestseller books to each company monthly. During that year, I read the most books in my entire life. I enjoyed fiction since I was able to create the worlds in my mind – they were my own personal movies. I enjoyed reading so much that it made me forget I was in the military and I would dream about parts of the books. They gave me joy, peace, knowledge, and rest.

Going back to college was a turning point that placed me back on track to learn. English Composition 1 is officially my first class where I am learning how to write. This course has given me examples of great reading pieces in English, my second language. English is becoming as dear to me as Korean as I read and learn how to write effectively. The invisible switch has clicked somewhere in my brain, I feel confident that I will write. 

Literacy narrative

I am not a reader,writer or thinker. My whole life I have struggled in all of these criterias, as of right now I feel like I have made a mistake in some parts of my sentence. Everytime that I write I feel like i’ve misplaced commas and and sometimes I feel like my periods are not even correct. That is something that I know about myself that I am not really proud of.  When it comes down to reading I obviously know how but it is still not good enough i am not able to read fast like how I want to and sometimes get irritated learning something is complicated if you don’t put in the time and expand your horizons. And that is what I would like to do, reach those horizons and maybe someday day write a book like Harper Lee because I completely fell in love with to To Kill a Mockingbird. Well i will admit that out of all these three categories the one i’m not that bad at is as a thinker for whatever reason my teachers actually like when I participate in class. They like to hear my ideas out and sometimes be impressed  with what I have to say. Well I do think that is pretty cool for a teacher to tell a student “WOW that pretty great of what you have to say”. I guess it gives me some confidence that maybe i’m not so bad and I can improve on my weaknesses. Well as a child I grew up in Ghana until i was like nine years old. I don’t really remember learning anything when I was back in my country and i know i got most of my education in America. The teachers are completely different from the ones in america. If you misbehave or get in trouble you will be punished. And sometimes unnecessary punishments for having different colored socks.  Well even though i feel like i did not learn much in Ghana, I do admit I knew how to speak english before I got to america. I learned how to read and write and how to speak in english. When I arrived in america i was placed in the fifth grade and I didn’t really fit in with the other kids. I felt like their english was better than mine because I had an accent and they didn’t. I felt misplaced and sometimes uncomfortable to go to school. Other kids would usually laugh because I was different and act like its a sin to have an accent or talk differently. But I continued to learn and develop the way I spoke and my vocabulary. I learned quickly and by the time I reached seventh grade i was a little more confident with the way i read and spoke. But I feel like it’s still not enough that I haven’t learned anything. Maybe I don’t give myself enough credit because others will wish to know what I know. I have to start learning ways I can better myself and be efficient in these three criteria, then maybe I can be a reader writer or thinker.

literacy narrative

Cesar  cordero

Prof ms.jewel

Sitting on a colorful rug and listening to my pre-kindergarten teacher, read books from Dr. Seuss was first memory of learning to read. She would read word by word slowly and show us what she was reading and of course she would show off the pictures. She finished reading and now we are sitting at our tiny tables learning how to write the alphabet and numbers. Those are the first memories I have of learning to read and write. Starting kindergarten I finally compose sentences though spelling was no my forte. Throughout elementary and middle school my writing improved because now I finally knew what the parts of speech were and the grammar rules that go along with writing.  Grammar and parts of speech took a lot of practice and we reviewed almost every year. During those years I mainly learned the basics and the structure for writing.

         My experiences in high school are my most vivid of memories when it comes to reading, writing, and communicating. My freshman year of high school I had an English teacher that had a big personality and made English class interesting and often unpredictable. She would break out into a song or dance in order to explain things such as a hyperbole. She was the first teacher to peak my interest in reading and writing. Sophomore year was also a turning point for my writing because I had to write a lengthy research paper on Macbeth by William Shakespeare. I learned that I have trouble staying focused on my thesis at times and my wording can often be awkward. I was thankful that quite a bit of drafting was involved and my final paper was a huge improvement.  Junior year was a great year for my interest in reading because I read East of Eden by John Steinbeck, which was a great book. Reading East of Eden made me realize how important annotating is and that rereading the text may be necessary if you did not pick up a good understanding the first time around. Senior year was an interesting one because of my expository reading and writing class. One of the hardest things I did was writing a group essay. We were in a group before we started the essay then when we started to draft we discovered we had different opinions on the topic. Communication was key and we had to figure out a compromise so that we could all get our point across.  High school had a huge contribution to my literacy narrative.      

         Over the years I have learned that I comprehend text well but have trouble staying focused and getting my point across clearly which are aspects that I would like to improve on. It is a goal of mine to improve my skills of focusing on the thesis and be state my thoughts clearly.

without beating around the bush and rambling on. I have come along way throughout the years but there is always room for improvement.