Keep up hand

My masterpiece of drawings before kindergarten consisted of me gripping onto the pencil and slam down the pencil to the paper so hard that I would make a hole in the paper. No masterpieces were ever the same. Everyone in my kindergarten class with Ms.Abiko was sitting in our little tiny chairs where our feet could reach the floor and the desk was just above my stomach level. We were all given a paper and pencil to write with. I looked at the pencil that Ms.Abiko gave me and thoughts popped into my mind. Why did I get this pencil, it is not long at all? Why is it the color yellow, the ones at home are all glittery and are in blue? I did not say any of this out loud, I was so afraid of talking in front of the whole class. So I just kept those thoughts to myself. When Ms.Abiko finished handing out all the pencils, she then went over to the board and wrote the uppercase and lowercase letter A. Then she told us to follow the dotted lines on the paper. I did not even realize there were dotted lines on the paper until she told us there was. Apparently, I was caught up in the moment with the pencil that I forgot about the paper. I stared down at the paper and kept saying to myself, follow the dotted lines, follow the dotted lines. I gripped my pencil hard and then placed it down onto the paper. I began to follow the dotted lines for the letter A. We were writing letters all day until school ended. When I got home my mom asked me about what I learned in school today. I replied, "I learned how to write the letter A". My mom asked excitedly, "Show me!" She got out a notepad and pencil. I gripped the pencil and began to write on the paper an uppercase A. My mom's face was full of joy that I could write the letter A. Then she said, "why are you holding the pencil like that?" I was puzzled by why she asked that, so I replied, "I don't know". She then took my hand and released my grip on the pencil. Her hands were cold when she first touched me, as if she had just left them under cold water for a longtime. They were also slippery like slime, but it did not smell like slime. It was more like a strong apple smell. She picked up the pencil and told me to hold out my hand. I obeyed, and she put the pencil in between my middle finger and ring finger on my right hand. Then she had me place my middle finger and index finger on top of the pencil to rest. As I began writing, I felt my mom looking over my shoulder like she was inspecting me very closely. Even though she was my mom, it felt really uncomfortable to have her watch me. I felt pressure from her as if she was waiting for me to do something wrong. And I was right because my writing was not dark enough, so my mom pressed the pencil harder against my finger like she trying to squeeze the last drop of toothpaste out. The letter A became a lot darker on the paper.

Even though this is not the letter A, these are other works of mine on learning to write letters.

As I grew older, I just kept on writing with paper and pencil. I had to write essays, reflections, notes and other things for school. One day during seventh grade, a friend of mine, named Amber who strangely smelled like the damp redwood forest, asked me if she could review my notes for English class. I turned my head towards her and noticed she was wearing a long sweater, jeans, sneakers, and a parka with her hair up in a messy bun. I stuck my hand inside my backpack and was trying to feel for the first papers in the folder. I pulled the papers out of my backpack just like pulling a rabbit out of a hat. I then handed her the papers. Amber turned over the page in my notebook to look on the next page of notes. I told her to ask me any questions she had about my notes, so when she tapped my shoulder that I thought it was going to be a question. Turns out, she said I wrote so hard that you can feel the writing on the other side of the paper. It is like you can feel the paper and read my notes backwards, just like someone who reads braille. I noticed that there was a bump on my finger, I thought it was from sports but turned out it was from putting too much pressure on my finger. Since that is where my pencil would always rest on my finger. I guess writing created a mark for me.

There is a faint red line in the middle of my finger with a red dot on top of the finger. This is the location of the bump on the finger that was made from pressing the pencil so hard on my finger. By the way, you are not suppose to have a bump there.

In the beginning of ninth grade, it was all writing with a pencil and papers. All my assignments were required to be hand written. Until on day, we were given an assignment about whether we support uniforms being required to wear in school or not. I already knew what side I was on right after she finished saying the topic. I took the side of not being required to wear uniforms. When I pictured uniforms, I would imagine girls in skirts and sweaters. That was awful, I mean not for others to wear but like I really do not like wearing skirts and sweaters at all. The only times I wore those clothes were to the church which was not very often. I was not about to have to start wearing those clothes to school, No Way!!! So I started writing down the answer to the topic when all of a sudden. Ms.Lundy said, "Did I mention that you are writing an essay and not a short response plus it has to be typed?" There was a silence in the room. Nobody made a move or sound. I assumed they were all in shock just like I was, however I was happy too. I knew that I was not happy about writing an essay. Furthermore, I did not have to hand write the whole essay. Ms. Lundy had us brainstorm in class as well as have us begin writing our essays. So I began writing my draft, I wrote about 2 pages worth front and back. Then when I got home, I typed out my draft onto my computer. Turns out when I was all finished typing it was only like a page. In my mind I was thinking, there has to be more that I wrote, I am almost certain that I was writing the whole period, I had so many papers to go with my draft. My mind was just blown by how much it turned out on the screen. I thought all I had to do was revise and edit. However, I have to spend a lot more time on that essay than expected. The next day after school, I went home and to my computer to work on the essay. I have decided that I was going to use my paper draft as an outline. So basically, I deleted the essay I had written on the computer from the day before. I began with my body paragraphs because those are the easiest ones to do for me. Then I go onto my introduction and conclusion paragraphs. As I was writing my body paragraphs I realized that I was writing a lot more while I was typing. One moment I was looking on the screen and had three lines worth and the next moment I had half a page worth of writing. As I kept on writing, I realized that when I was typing that the words would come out onto the screen almost the same time as I was thinking them. I guess I was typing pretty fast. I stopped writing because my thoughts were on how fast I was typing. I was staring off into space towards the bright light over my head, which was actually just a ceiling light. As I was spacing out, I had some time for reflection. I realized that when I wrote, it would take me much longer to write down the thoughts in my head. I would lose my placement in what I was writing. I would either write a sentence that contained two different ideas which did not help the sentence make any sense. Or the action that is going on in my mind was that I would have to backtrack my thoughts to figure out what I was trying to say earlier. After I finished that thought, I had already lost my previous thought about what my next sentence is going to be about. Then I would get distracted since I did not have any thoughts running in mind and would think about how much the pencil is hurting my finger because it is pressing so hard. I thought about changing it but I always ended up liking the position of the pencil where it was original that I had first learned. So back the essay, I had everything I wanted to say on the computer, every thought that came to my mind as I was typing out my draft. The draft did look longer and I was happy that I had many of my ideas on paper.

The early technologies that I used like pencil and paper were like pleasurable literacy experiences, yet those tools felt uncomfortable to me. However, when I started using different writing tools and technologies like keyboard and screen, my literacy soared. I am not saying that I had bad experiences but more that I was not made for pencil and paper. There are so many factors that make up who I am but also so many factors in a subsection of me which is my technological literacy.

Technological literacy has two factors which include cultural ecology and literacy sponsors. They can vary from person to person, and I bet I would not be the same as anyone else. The reason I say that is because cultural ecology is about how one's own cultural experiences and background helps the person gain knowledge and beliefs. In my story, I started with having a pencil to scribble with, then went onto using that pencil to write letters, not actually letters but like the alphabet. I had to actually learned how to use a pencil and how to write out what I thinking which was very important to my family. My mom taught me how to use a pencil correctly and especially how to make my writing dark so anyone can read it without hurting their eyes. Furthermore, when I got to seventh grade, I was able to use the computer to write out my essays which was easier for me since I played a lot of typing games before. "'According to Latour, things lead us—or, more precisely, the attachment of things leads us—to draw connections to other people, places, and attachments that may not automatically be evident in the things themselves but rather are evident in the “different ways of gathering things together"' (Hawisher, Selfe, Berry, Lovett, Ahmed, Dewayani, and Kang ). The authors of cultural designs for writing digitally: from Urbana, Illinois, and far stated that the amount of attachment to something can relate to how much we use which provides different ways of gathering things. I did not really appreciating writing with a pencil that much, because I could not keep up with my own thoughts and the discomfort of the pencil on my finger, was too overpowering. I did not have many attachments to create to gather a lot of information coming from me. I mentioned in my story that I had to stop what I was thinking and go back to where I left off writing. The environment I used paper and pencil were at low levels of education. But as I got the higher level of education, I began to use a computer and I had quickly made a strong attachment to it. That strong connection leads me to gather more information from my brain by typing as quickly as I thought. But all writing technologies have to come from some environment which then had to be provided by someone. In order to write literacy, I have had many literacy sponsors, that include people, places, or things that provide material for me to expand my literacy. "Analysis of sponsorship forces us to consider not merely how one social group's literacy practices differ from another's, but how everybody's literacy practices are operating in differential economies, which supply different access routes, different degree of sponsoring power, and different scales of monetary worth to the practices" (Brandt; 1997; 9). My literacy sponsors could be the same as someone else's like parents. However, my mom was a big sponsor power because she was able to go out and actually buy me paper and pencils. She can even get the glitter pencil over the plain yellow standard ones. She gave me the pencils and paper I needed in order to scribble and write. In kindergarten where I was learning how to write the alphabet, there was a larger scale emphasis on the monetary worth of writing with a pencil. It was something, that Ms.Abiko spent a lot of time on. In order to succeed in life and school, I need to know how to write, at least that was what my mom said. As I got older, the emphasis of the monetary worth of the practice of writing with a paper and pencil went down and the worth of typing on a computer went up. The assignment was given to me that required typing instead of writing which changed the way I wrote. The school system emphasis had changed of which writing tool to use. Ms.Lundy had introduced that concept of typing my essays on a computer and turning in a typed paper. I had already played typing games on the laptop at home that my parents had brought. I was now able to use the laptop to type essays rather than just play games. Those factors of cultural ecology and literacy sponsors really added a difference in my technological literacy.

My technological literacy is not quite done in developing because there are always going to be new technological literacy created in the world for people to use. Those cultural ecologies and literacy sponsors will add more and more to who I am as a technological literacy learner. Technological literacy skills helped improve my literacy. For example, typing keeps up with my thoughts better than handing writing. Writing was just never my favorite activity to do in the past and it still continues onto today. If my professor gave our class a choice of either type up some ideas, do some math problems, or go outside and play basketball. I would choose math or basketball over writing any day. Even when I have writing, math, and basketball in one, the order in which I do them corresponds to what I prefer to do. I would do math then basketball then writing just like how I did it when I played high school basketball. I may use writing in everyday life but with the help of technological literacy, it has been a lot easier for me.

Works Cited

  • Brandt, Deborah. (1997). ​The Sponsors of Literacy. Albany: National Research Center on English Learning & Achievement. University at Albany; State University of New York
  • Hawisher, Gail E., Cynthia L. Selfe, Patrick W. Berry, Maria Lovett, Shafinaz Ahmed, Sophie Dewayani, and Yu-Kyung Kang. "Transnational Literate Lives in Digital Times: Chapter 3.1." Transnational Literate Lives in Digital Times: Chapter 3.1. Computers and Compositioon Digital Press.

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