Tuesday, April 27

Dictionary Life

This is a segmented essay that i wrote for my Writing Creative Non-Fiction class called Dictionary Life:

Read: look at and comprehend the meaning of (written or printed matter) by mentally interpreting the characters or symbols of which it is composed.


I read Green Eggs and Ham, all on my own, for the first time. When I finished, I jumped up, with a heart full of accomplishment, to go and tell my mother what I had done. Reading this book is the earliest moment I can remember when I felt like I had really achieved something.

Book: a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.

In first grade, I was bumped up to the highest reading level in that grade. Already I was reading simple chapter books. My mother tells me that I wouldn’t read anything my brothers didn’t read, and they are four and five years older than me.

Learn: gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.

In fifth grade, I was put in the accelerated reading class called Project Idea. One of the highlights was when we acted our A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I was Hermia, one of the lead females. I loved all of the lines I got to read, and how important I felt, I couldn’t understand when the other kids, who watched our play, laughed at me when I acted out my distress at waking up alone, Dimetrius having been put under a spell to fall in love with Helena.

Comprehend: grasp mentally; understand; include, comprise, or encompass.

In Jr. High, again, I was in the accelerated English class. We had a list of spelling words that were of a high school English class; we were told that we would get extra credit if we found them in books that we were reading. One day I presented over 60 places where I found the words in different books I had read that week.

Define: state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of; give the meaning of (a word or phrase), esp. in a dictionary.

Freshman year of High school, I was in a normal English class, but when we read To Kill a Mockingbird I had radical ideas about the characters that no one, including my teacher understood. This is the same teacher who tried to teach us that when a quoted sentence begins in the middle of a preexisting sentence, the quoted sentence wasn’t capitalized.

Syntax: the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language; a set of rules for or an analysis of this; the branch of linguistics that deals with this.

By my senior year of high school, I was coaching the rest of my class on Shakespeare: how to read and understand Macbeth. When I told them I hoped to be a high school English teacher, none of them were surprised.

Teach: show or explain to (someone) how to do something.

In college I realized that my heart was for the written word, for expressing myself with words. I knew finally what I wanted to do with my life, and it wasn’t teaching. I wanted to be a famous author.

Write: mark (letters, words, or other symbols) on a surface, typically paper, with a pen, pencil, or similar implement; have the ability to mark coherent letters or words in this way.

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