Coming to Literacy

My path to literacy has always been intimately linked with education. It was, after all, partly through the repeated readings of a third grade history text book my parents purchased that I learned English. Despite (or perhaps because of) the fact that my parents were both immigrants and thus struggled with their own mastery of basic English, they were fairly adamant in my development of a long term reading habit for the sake of my own English abilities. While at first resistant (I was 7 years old after all, facing strange intimidating symbols), it took but a few years for me to develop a great fondness for reading.

While my love for literacy has not diminished, its form has changed. Lacking quite as much free time to read through academic text books and such, the majority of my reading material has taken the form of online essays and blogs. As what I’ve always read for has been the informative content within, the fact that the writing quality itself was sometimes poor has rarely bothered me.

But this broad range of texts I have absorbed has made me certain in one thing: literacy is not simply the act of taking in prose on a page. It is much more important for the reader to be able to form some sort of connection with the text, whether it be appreciation of the writing style, or a love for the content there within. I am literate not just because of my grasp of vocabulary and syntax, but because of my grasp of a wide range of ideas in a wide range of topics.

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