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Davis Powell

Literacy Memoir Draft


In Kindergarten I dont really remember very much from my writing or literacy other
than learning the alphabet and I remember writing my first story. I wrote the story about going to
Disney World, which I had done recently at the time. I wrote about riding the rides and meeting
Mickey Mouse and flying on a plane. This was like an end of year type of project. All the rest of
my Kindergarten year and before that I pretty foggy besides writing birthday and mothers day
cards to my mom, which I still have, but Ms. Lowery taught me well.
In first grade I was becoming more literate, but we were still just learning how to write
stories. Ms. Ellington was my teacher and I didnt like her very much. We used to have reading
periods wear we would read books. I would just read small fantasy flipbooks or stuff about
sports. I think I even accidently stole a book about Michael Jordan because I took it home and
never returned it. I also had a book about every greatest sports player who held every number.
In second grade I had a class in a trailer. I remember we had to pair up and write a long
two or three page paper. We wrote a story about dragon or something, I cant really remember.
We learned the structure of writing and how to write paragraphs. At this point, we were expected
to know how to read very well and understand what we are reading. The story with the partner
was fiction and it was one of the first long stories I ever wrote to this point in my education.
In third grade I dont recall much at all. I cant really remember my teachers name very
well. I do remember having to write stories pretty often instead of the one we had to do in second
grade.
In fourth grade I had Ms. Hayes for English class. I remember not liking her at all. We
took vocabulary quizzes every week and I even got caught cheating on one, which was not good.
I expanded my vocabulary very much during this period. Also, this was the year I really started

Davis Powell
disliking reading and writing. I started reading my first books in class with a partner. I was
actually paired with a girl that I had a crush on and she even goes to UNC Charlotte now and I
see her around, which is cool.
In fifth grade I had Ms. Lowery for English and she was a really nice teacher. We still had
vocabulary quizzes every week and had to read books, but instead of doing it in class we did it
for homework. I liked the class a lot better than Ms. Hayes class because it was a lot easier. At
the end of the year we had to make a big project about a story we made. It was a pretty lengthy
story, probably like, three pages. It was a story about something that had happened in our life and
I wrote about going on a cruise. We had to have a big poster board and we had to put pictures
from the story on the board. We had to present our board and our story and we dressed up in nice
clothes for the occasion. Our parents came in and we presented in front of our parents and the
class. All in all, I learned a lot in fifth grade English and it was a very educational year in my
literacy.
In sixth grade, I had Mr. Otis as an English teacher and he was pretty weird but he was
nice as the same time. We learned a lot about poetry that year. I remember we had to pick a song
and recite it as if it was a poem. I chose a Lady Gaga song and it was pretty funny for everyone
to hear me recite it as if it was a poem. Also, I remember having to learn a poem by Shakespeare
and having to recite it in front of the class. I could remember about two lines of the poem
because I didnt spend very much time studying it. I think the poem was called A Midsummer
Nights Dream, or something similar to that. Overall, I learned a whole lot about poetry in that
class, such as Shakespeare, rhyme, rhythm, syllables, and many other things. I also learned a lot
about presentations because I had to present multiple times in front of the class during that
school year.

Davis Powell
In seventh grade I had Ms. Cates for English class. Ms. Cates was really mean teacher
and nobody in the class liked her. We had to watch a lot of videos about how to write properly in
this class. Plus we really broke down the structure of sentences. I cant remember what the name
of it is called, but it dealt with the subject, predicate, adverb, and things of that nature. We did
that every single class for the whole class basically. It was so boring I hated doing that kind of
stuff. In this year I learned about the structure of sentences and how words can change a
sentences structure.
In eighth grade I had Ms. Cates again. We basically learned about the same exact stuff as
seventh grade, which was annoying and inefficient. Also, I had the same teacher so she gave the
same teaching style and this teaching style didnt help me learn any better. We learned all the
same stuff we did the year before, so it was basically a review year. I remember we also wrote a
lot of essays because she said she was preparing us for high school, so we learned how to form
an essay. Other than that, not much came out of my eighth grade year in middle school
education-wise.
In ninth grade I had Ms. Giannolis and she delve further into how sentences work like we
did in seventh and eighth grade. We learned more about grammar and stuff like that. I remember
reading Romeo and Juliet. That book was such a hard book to read because of the language
Shakespeare uses. I remember we also watched the movie to Shakespeare and did literature
circles on the book. Literature circles are a group students who all have been assigned jobs to do
after they finish reading the assigned section. When we get to class we will tell the group what
our job was and what we did to complete the job. These jobs include finding connections to the
reading, looking up words that you may not know the meaning to, summarizing the reading and a
few other things.

Davis Powell
Tenth grade was the worst English class Ive ever had. My teachers name was Mrs.
Lendyak and she was the meanest woman Ive ever met. We had to write essays every week and
no matter how hard I tried I could not get better than a C on one of her essays. She was one of
the hardest graders in the school and she was killing my GPA. At this time, I was also playing
high school football, so that took up a lot of my time. I spent all my time at home working on
English homework and barely working on homework for other classes and this destroyed my
GPA for that whole year. I remember I had to do a partner presentation about an oppressed group
in America. Unfortunately, my partner and I did not understand the assignment and to add on to
that, we put basically thirty minutes worth of effort in to the presentation. Obviously, we looked
like idiots in front of the whole class and bombed the presentation. We also read Othello in that
class. Othello wouldve been a solid novel to read in any other class. The teacher overanalyzed
the whole novel and we had to write three essays about different aspects of the paper. The only
perk was we got to watch a movie about it. Tenth grade English revived my dislike of reading
and writing more than any other class I had ever taken. At the end of the year, everyones grade
was bumped up a few points because our teacher was determined by the administration to have
graded too strictly.
In eleventh grade I had Ms. Elkins, a teacher very similar to my tenth grade English
teacher. This class was less essay-oriented and more group work and reading. The reading in this
class varied. The first reading we had talked about water conservation and the next was the Great
Awakening: a book about a woman in early America. This class had more discussions in it,
which I really liked and she was an easier grader. We would have class discussions every day and
that really helped me understand the reading. Also, we had an important project that we had to do
over the course of the year. It was called the junior paper and was a six to eight page paper

Davis Powell
supporting or opposing a controversial topic. I chose to support animal cloning in America. This
project helped me become a better writer and time-manager. This year of English was my most
effective in terms of becoming a better writer.
In my senior year of high school, I had Mrs. Butler for English. Senior year was much
more relaxed than my other years of high school. The workload for this class paled in
comparison to classes of years past. The whole semester we focused on one novel called Hamlet.
We had to literature circles, yet again, while reading this novel. Also, after completing every
section of the novel we would watch that section in the movie Hamlet. Also, we would act out
each scene we read in class with props and character lines. To me, this process seemed a bit
overboard, but it really helped me understand what was happening in the text. Even with
Shakespeares diction, it was easy to understand each passage after reviewing it. Also, during this
year, I had a project that accounted for twenty percent of my grade called the senior exit. This
project was a continuation of the junior year paper, so I had the same topic. There were many
pieces to include in the senior exit including a presentation, a graph, a reflection paper, and many
other pieces. By the end of the semester we had to dress up and give a presentation in front of
three teachers. I made an A on the project and was definitely happy with myself for it. Senior
year English was a laid back class besides two major assignments we had to throughout the
course of the semester.
My most recent English class is one Im taking in college right now. Its only been about
a month since the class started, but we have done a lot of things in class. We have read a lot
articles about how many races a challenged through literacy. We have also started a literacy
memoir, which is what Im writing right now. This class is a lot of work, but I am learning a lot
about different aspects of the writing community and how to become a better writer.