Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Learning to Speak: Reflections of a Learner in ENG 100 :: Essays Papers

Learning to Speak: Reflections of a Learner in ENG 100 This summer, after I was informed that I had been offered a teaching assistantship, I was terrified. I was not sure that I was capable of teaching students about a discipline in which I still possessed such a conscious doubt of my own abilities. For most of my life I was what you might call a non-achiever. When my parents strongly suggested that I enroll in college (the other option being to leave the house) everyone around me just sort of held their breath waiting for my inevitable failure. Then a strange thing happened. I passed my classes, and even enjoyed them. I had always wanted to be an English major. In high school it was the only class that I enjoyed. I loved reading and writing about literature. There was something in the words of struggle and sadness that so many authors wrote about that gave my life meaning through a context of the joy and sorrow that are inextricably linked to living. Despite this, when it came time to choose a major in college, I steered clear of English, my thoughts filled with the intimidating associations of stodgy professors who deconstructed every sentence on a page, bantered using esoteric verbs, and deemed students the flawed population, and that they, erudite and pristine, were socially obligated to instill a fraction of their wisdom into these malleable minds of the naÔve, or just plain stupid. I did not want to willingly submit myself to a major where I perceived I would be subjected to daily criticism of my intelligence. Throughout college, I changed majors several times, each time considering English, but turning away for fear of failure. When I graduated, after a period of complete indecision, I decided that I was going back to school and getting a degree in English. This strange, motivating desire to possess an English degree consumed me, and I knew that I had to prove to myself that I was capable of earning this degree. I had to prove to myself that I could overcome this hurdle. It is funny how one obstacle can create in our minds this wall of fear. So much of life is learning to overcome a fear that often dictates our decisions, desires and dreams.

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