The meaning of literacy has drastically changed overtime as the world is advancing. In earlier times, being able to read and write was considered literate, however, now in 21st century, reading, writing, speaking or having a high school diploma is the bare minimum you can do or viewed as a stepping stone. As their are changes and advancements in the world, “Sponsors enable and hinder literacy activity, often forcing the formation of new literacy requirements while decertifying older ones”(Brandt 89). This will increase literacy standards and people who acquire higher literacy will be in a hierarchical position in the society.
It will lead to omitting the old literacies and people will attain the new literacies Because it tells you as the new literacies will be received by everyone, the older ones will be excluded. Despite the fact, Lowery learned how to read and write to interpret simple activities. He didn’t know the world was advancing till he had to deal with lawyers and figured out they were expertise in advanced literacies. In some ways the advancement in the economy throws away older generations. It reveals when a new thing is introduced it will take little to- no time to replace the older things. For example, before people didn’t have calculators, all the simple math was retained and done by hand or in mind. Now as calculators and advance technology is announced students like me have relied so much upon calculators- simple calculations appear tough. In my case, my parents were my biggest sponsors.
My mother who spent numerous hours, days and nights by my side teaching me to read, write and speak at a young age. In India in the beginning of elementary school you have to study every subject such as environmental science, punjabi, hindi, math, general knowledge, moral science all at once and you didn’t have a choice unless like the kids in America. If I couldn’t understand something my mom didn’t leave and I didn’t get a choice to leave my study room till I grasped that concept and explained it to her. There were no days off from learning including weekends, I remember wishing guests can come over to my house so I can get excused from today’s study session. But… that day never came. Body #2- Malcolm X didn’t achieve high levels of literacy instead he was alone behind his success and prison became his positively influencing sponsor. “Many who today hear me somewhere in person, or on television, or those who read something I’ve said, will think I went to school far beyond the eighth grade. This impression is due entirely to my prison studies”(Malcolm X 107). Being in prison, self teaching and self motivation fueled his desire to learn and enhance his reading, writing and speaking abilities. In a way prison contributed in giving Malcolm freedom and an ability to write his own life.
The amount of work and effort Malcolm X put in to learn each and every dictionary word leading to developing a passion for reading couldn’t have possibly taken place in a school system. Because there education and what you learned, isn’t what’s valued,instead, it’s the grades. The books that are probably banned or news that are suppressed at some institutions, Malcolm read them and got enlightened by the issues that different races and cultures are facing in the society. Moving back to 11 years from now when I immigrated to United States, I was eight years old, being in my teenage years in a whole new culture was rough. And learning how to read, write and speak english was tough. The worst feeling was when I saw people around me who excelled at everything and received great remarks on their writings. While I received my writings back with red marks all over it. At that age I wanted to be perfect and fit in the group instead of feeling like an outsider. One of my biggest sponsor was Mrs. Blackwell, my elementary school “Incredible Reader” club teacher who encouraged and worked with me one on one daily for one hour on reading books and explaining difficult words/ concepts to me. Looking back, I am amazed at how much I have grown. I began reading two grade levels below my peers, and by the end of the program, I developed a love for learning on my own time. To improve my reading I started reading books and doing reading logs. And for writing I started doing daily journal entries reflecting on how I spent that day. If I was struggling in homework or needing help to prepare for tests. I had to self teach myself by reading the material over and over and watching tutorial videos online. Before promoting to middle school, I got awarded as an ‘Incredible Reader Award” seeing that certificate was a tangible proof to myself that nothing is difficult.
All the obstacles can be overcame and I just have to put in all my effort. This gave me encouragement that if I have the right mindset and focus then I will be able to succeed in the future Body #3- In my culture daughters are seen as their parents pride because they are the ones who will work hard pursue higher education, while, also keeping in mind about all the hard work and sacrifices their parents made for them to get them to this stage of their lives. However, in Cisneros case his father saw college as a way to find a good husband and an in law family for his daughter. “Wasn’t college an investment? And hadn’t I spent all those years in college? And if I didn’t marry, what was it all for? Why would anyone go to college and then choose to be poor? Especially someone who had always been poor”(Cisneros 103). This quote shows how Cisneros dad’s motive to let his daughter pursue higher education was to find a good husband. In the end, despite, obtaining education and degrees. They all went into a waste since she couldn’t find a husband for herself. Therefore instead of getting richer, she became even more poor.
Later on in the story Cisneros becomes more confident about her achievement, however, she’s still seeking and doing everything to get her father’s approval. In many countries around the world till this date, if a girl is given an opportunity to pursue higher education is for an hope to find a good husband for her. This quote reveals that Cisneros didn’t believe that woman’s place is only in the kitchen and being a housewife instead they should be able to follow and pursue their dreams just like men. In my culture and household, education is a key to gain respect and make your family proud of your achievements. My father is a complete opposite of Cisneros father. My father encourages me to pursue higher education, so I can be independent, strong and stand for myself. And of course my dad wants me to settle in my life but in my family, marriage isn’t even a question that arises till you have completed higher education and have become something in your life. Only thing that I have to prove myself to my family for is that the sacrifices and hard work they did for me didn’t go into a wastage. Conclusion- Throughout my lifetime, there were a wealth of sponsors who played an important role and shaped me up to help me become who I am today. My experience with my sponsors have not only helped me succeed during my schooling journey but also opened new doors and opportunities for me to succeed in throughout my life.