The short reading of Superman and Me reflected back on Sherman Alexie’s life how he learned how to read and how that was a big deal for where he grew up. He made it a goal of his to teach the children in the Native American schooling to not give up on learning and teach them that they do have potential.
When Sherman Alexie was three years old, he found his father’s collection of books that was kept in the house. He began looking at a comic book about superman. Although he did not know how to read he recognized what was happening in the story because of the pictures. He connected the words on the page with the pictures to learn how to read. This was important to him because as a Native American, the teachers did not expect him to be educated or to even want to be educated. As he grew older he became a writer and went back to where he grew up to encourage the children to read. He wanted them to have the ability to read that he had and make sure they knew that they had the capability to do so.
“'Books.' I say to them. ‘Books,’ I say. I throw my weight against their locked doors. The door holds. I am smart. I am arrogant. I am lucky. I am trying to save our lives.”
Sherman Alexie’s actions reminded me of two specific habits of mind. These would be openness and persistence. Even though he grew up being told that he wouldn’t come to much or be educated, he did not let that bother him. He had an openness and willingness to consider a different way of life. This life included reading, writing, education. All that he was told he couldn’t do when he was a child. He also showed persistence because he did not want this to stop with just himself. He wanted the interest of education to carry on. This is why he was persistent to teach the Native American children that they can do just as much as him and more as long as they worked for it. We reflected on a quote in class. “’Books.’ I say to them. ‘Books,’ I say. I throw my weight against their locked doors. The door holds. I am smart. I am arrogant. I am lucky. I am trying to save our lives.” This quote is important because he is telling them that books can save their lives. Not physically, but with the power that comes from being able to read a book. We discussed that in areas where the education is so little, students tend to drop out and get into trouble. Whereas areas that has good education, more people stay in school and get educated to move on and get higher paying jobs because of that education. Alexi was doing what he could to get through to the kids and their “locked doors” to encourage them to use a pencil, write down notes, and read a book.