Alana Tennison
Professor Brown
EH 101-11
September 6, 2017
Developing Literacy in School
Elementary, intermediate, and high school taught me a lot. From schoolwork to learning who to trust and who to stay away from, I acquired a specific type of literacy from my school experience. I did not enjoy this time of my life as most of my class did. My school years were full of anxiety and encountering things that my mind could hardly comprehend at the time. But, I was able to overcome my issues and turn these complications into a very helpful learning experience. One thing that I learned throughout my years is that the things in life that we may think are important at the time are later recognized as material, therefore not as significant as we first viewed them as. I believe it is safe to say that we are all materialistic to a certain extent, depending on the person. I do believe that too much of "treating ourselves" is very bad, because it gets in the way of our ability to see things clearly. I developed knowledge in the sense of being aware that material things will exist throughout our lives, but we realize at a certain point that these things do not matter as much as we first believe.
Primary school was a simpler time in my life, yet I still managed to learn a few things from it. During this time, we as children weren't concerned about too much, yet there were still a few kids that determined how "cool" someone was by judging their belongings. Things like toys and lunch boxes were being compared and sometimes, and this is even how we made friends.
As a child, we rarely made friends with people we actually connected with. I remember when I was in the first grade, I even made friends with a couple of girls because we had the same lunchbox! Needless to say, these friendships did not last. On the others hand, I do remember being a young child and having another little girl tell me that she wouldn't play with me because I didn't have the expensive toy that she had gotten for her birthday. Most of these kinds of things happened at school, because I think we learn from an early age that material things are an important factor in deciding whether we should like someone or not, and if we should be judgmental towards those people. These are the kinds of the things that we should be teaching our children to avoid. Unfortunately, no matter if we gain this type of literacy and try to teach our kids the same, there will always be the people that feel as though they are better than everyone else based on their belongings.
Middle school had to be one of the toughest times of my life, and dealing with the pressure of having the nicest things did not make it much easier. I have never been the person to care about brands, but middle school could be difficult if you could not afford the most expensive clothes and the newest electronic devices. Intermediate school is- in my opinion- the most socially challenging experience during the time being spent at school. There is so much pressure to be the "cool kid", unless you just do not care.
One of the events I remember from middle school is when all of the girls, and even the guys, collected the Littlest Pet Shop toys and Silly Bands. Of course these were not expensive items, you just got more points for having the limited edition toys and bracelets. I also remember in sixth grade when all of the boys would wear Phiten necklaces, which have metals inside them to help with joints and pain, but they wore them because they liked the way the necklaces looked.
Like always, there was a downside to this agenda. I had a couple of girls that I considered my best friends for a long time, but once I stopped caring about the type of clothing that I wore and when I decided to be my true self, these friendships ended quickly. Once again, friendships based on things that can be purchased did