I learned to read with a shiny, hardcover book called “Rainbow Fish”. A book that was bought by my parents and read to me every night before bed. A story that encases the individuality and pride of a fish, unlike any others. The blue and purple cover coated with shimmering metallic scales appealed to my 5-year-old self. After hearing and picturing the phrases continuously, my illiterate brain concealed the sequence of events word-for-word. I began to mimic my parents after each sentence, instilling every word into my memory. My outgoing personality encased my pride in narrating the story back to my parents. Everyday, as I humbly entered Arlington Heights Nursery School, my stuffed animal, “Rosy”, and my book were gripped tightly in hand. Eventually, I gained the confidence (and recollection) to restate the story page-by-page and word-for-word. Little did my family know, the words were solely spoken by memory. Although, as I finally demonstrated my impressive “intelligence” to my family, I began to notice the connection between remembered phrases and structures of words and sentences. Somehow, even though the letter “a” can be pronounced as “-ay” or “-ah” or that sentences are composed of more than solely a subject and verb, I learned to read. Even more, I developed a love for reading.
My nana, who was a prominent role model and caregiver for me while my parents were at work, could flood herself in literacy for hours. Her interest in the mystery genre solidified her curiosity of the unknown. My nana would explain how her fascination of mysteries sparked from possible outcomes and the detection of the ultimate events. While I believed my intelligence had reached its peak, I only became attracted to more advanced “chapter books”, inspired within the teachings of Dallin Elementary School and Ottoson Middle School. Additionally, I developed a strong passion and distaste for cliffhangers, leading to some new questionable outcome. My elementary and secondary school years led me to unexpected friendships, along with an interest in literature. Somehow, even with my balance between being extroverted and intelligent, I remained encased in the feeling of lonesomeness. As experienced in Rainbow Fish, my individuality shaped my personality and reputation.
I can remember invisibly reading on the couch before dinner. With my eyes locked in the text and my mind picturing and comprehending the events of each story, my body remained unresponsive to the clear calls for dinner. My advancements in language and literature stunned my parents and teachers. As the beautifully outcasted fish was admired by me at 5 years old, I became the outcasted third grader in a fifth grade reading class. I had lacked the knowledge the reading “too fast” was excelling my grade level. Yet, there I was: scared, alone, and supposedly intelligent.
Regardless of my age or educational history, I would succeed in the course assigned to me. Further, through middle school and high school, I continue to dive into the pages of books until I surface the end cover. My knowledge of literature led to my love for poetry and writing music. Reading allowed me an outlet from the world surrounding me and continues to act as an escape.