Of the readings from this week, the reading titled “Superman and Me” grabbed my attention the most. I was very intrigued to read the story of a young Indian boy who grows from child reading prodigy to becoming a writer. The young Indian boy is influenced heavily by his father’s passion for reading. Sherman Alexie, the Indian boy, began reading at a very young age as his father kept books around the house. He learned to read at an advanced level, but his talents were not recognized since he was merely an Indian boy, expected to be stupid. Sherman decided, however, that he would not fail. Alexie kept his persistence and excelled past almost all of his peers, including the non-Indians, and made something of himself. Although Alexie was not born into a situation setting him up for success, Alexie was flexible. He saw that there was a path set before for him, but did not like it. Alexie was flexible and persistent which led to his success. Now, a successful writer, Alexie still comes back and visits the reservation to give back to his community.
Sherman Alexie’s story is one that can be compared to many who share a similar background. Many people have overcome the unfortunate situation they have been put in to eventually go on to be successful. Many of those people also give back to their communities as Sherman Alexie does, but I think Alexie’s story relates to my life in a different way. Although I have been put in a situation where I have been set up to succeed, unlike the situation of Sherman Alexie, I feel that I shared some of his struggles. Growing up, I was in almost the opposite scenario as Alexie, but the story is essentially the same. Unlike Alexie, I was expected to be able to read and write well, but I struggled with reading and writing. However, both Alexie and I were on the wrong side of our metaphorical “fences”. My natural reading and writing skills were above average, which is why I was expected to be able to efficiently read and write, but I dreaded doing both. This caused me to get less practice than other kids because I hated doing it. I was left in the dust and by middle school I was now below average. I thought that this was the path set before me, and that I would always be better at other subjects and reading and writing would be my downfall. But, by the end of high school this would change. I started to read more, but not books. My interest in reading came from articles, mainly online pertaining to sports. This is what I was interested in and this is what I enjoyed reading. I began reading news and sports articles more and more and now I feel that my reading skills, and subsequently my writing skills, have improved back to the point where I believe it should be. I was persistent and did not let anything define me, but used my flexibility to find a way to enjoy reading and continue to hone my skills. Although my story does not match up with Sherman Alexie’s story, the lessons learned and the tools used to overcome adversity do match up. I believe that Alexie and I shared a similar problem growing up, just in very different environments. The other readings were interesting as well, but “Superman and Me” really connected with me and my childhood. I focussed mainly on this reading because it resonated with me the most and the others did not connect with me on the level that Alexie’s story did.