This week’s sibling writing assignment from Raymond Pert is writing about who or what instilled in the three of us our love of reading and writing. RP's post is here, and Inland Empire Girl's post here.
I don’t remember learning to read. Reading has always been something I could do. It has been shared with me that I knew how to read when I entered kindergarten, but I wouldn’t read out loud when Mrs. Clark, my kindergarten teacher, asked me to read. But she knew I could read because when I was asked to hand out papers to the other students in the class, I could read the names and hand them out just fine. (But I don’t remember this).
From my earliest school days, I was reading. Our home was filled with shelves of books. But I know I was read to as a child, but I have no memory of someone reading books to me. But I remember going to the library from a very young age, and I remember attending story time. I have this very vivid memory of my friend Tina’s mom telling the story of the “Three Billy Goats Gruff” during story time at the library, down in the basement, and she used a felt board to tell the story.
I don’t remember ever making the conscious choice to be a reader…I just was a reader. Dad read books. Mom read books. My brother and sister read books. I read books. We were always reading. Dad liked sports themed books. Mom liked romance and humor, and Danielle Steele and Erma Bombeck were two of her favorites. I’m not sure what Raymond Pert read as I was growing up. I think he liked the sports books as well. Inland Empire Girl shared with me her love of Nancy Drew Mysteries and Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books.
As I got older, and I realized that there were people who didn’t read books for pleasure and enjoyment...I was really shocked. What do you mean you aren't a reader???
I always had a book on the floor next to my bed. Sometimes two or three. Rarely did I fall asleep growing up without reading something. (I'm still like that to this day.)
My husband and daughters are the same way. PKR is a reader, and so are all three of my girls. I remember when The Princess was a baby, and a pile of thick cardboard books were her favorite toys.
Writing is something that clicked for me in college. I always liked writing, and it was never hard for me. I kept diaries and journals on and off growing up. I had pen pals at various times growing up.
When I was at the University of Idaho, I was put in the English 103 class, because my writing needed some work. I’m not sure we had the greatest writing teachers at Kellogg High School. I remember taking English 103, then English 104, and thinking to myself, oh this is what an essay is suppose to be.
I had several writing epiphanies in college. The first was from a Teacher’s Assistant who was my English 104 teacher. We were learning the art of writing essays, and one day he brought in a Rolling Stone’s magazine, and read an essay from the magazine, and it made essays make sense to me. It was as if it gave this writing exercise some meaning. I don’t think anyone every explained to me that essay writing was a form of writing, and that the essay was a legitinate form of writing.
The second epiphany came my sophomore year in college in an Introduction to Literature class. My professor’s name was Mason Tung. This is the first class I had where you read a story and analyzed the content and wrote about the meaning of the writing. I loved it, and I was good at it. I remember reading Herman Melville’s short story “Bartleby the Scrivner” and writing an analysis of the story, and finding it a quite enjoyable assignment, and receiving a really good grade on the paper.
When I was a senior in high school, I received a U of I scholarship for Journalism, and one of the requirements of getting the scholarship was to take a journalism class. When I headed off the college, I had no idea what field I wanted to pursue. The only thing I knew I didn’t want to do was be a school teacher. (I guess I thought there were too many in the family already.)
I took some journalism and communications classes, and worked for the college’s newspaper The Argonaut the second semester of my freshman year, and my sophomore year. I enjoyed writing, and did a pretty good job. So a journalism degree I would pursue, then added Communications, and ended up with a Communications degree with an emphasis in Public Relations.
Writing became more and more a part of my life. I love writing people’s stories. I love writing something positive that makes people feel better about themselves. I like being an encouraging writer.
I believe my love of reading and writing was passed down in a somewhat subliminal way through my parents who believed a college education was very important, and the expression of the written word through books and other publications was the way you learned more about the world around you.