"I grew up hearing over and over how important learning is. I used to have good marks at school, but even less free time. As time wore on my achievement at school, it became even more important because to be admitted to a university it was only possible through good scholastic records. I think that as teenagers we learn more because of the expectations of our parents or other people, and it takes time to understand that being well educated and qualified is important for us".
Learning, for me, is an opportunity to use what I’ve learned, and, to broaden my horizons and to improve the best version of myself. Learning starts at the school itself for every child, every subject giving different knowledge. As a student I enjoyed English the most, it has always been my favourite subject.
Starting off with the alphabet as a toddler, I majorly developed my interest in English from 9th grade.
- In 9th grade, English was all about hammering down the basics of essays. We learned how to construct a thesis and communicate an argument in five paragraphs.
In10th grade, it was about perfecting the structures of the papers that we wrote. It was incorporating quotes appropriately and eliminating “to-be” verbs.
My teacher introduced me to the essays of Thoreau, one of the first works of non-fiction that I actually enjoyed. His explanation of the world and its accompanying metaphors helped reveal nuances in the society that I hadn’t noticed before. I spent half of my days trying to create clear metaphors for my writing content, and the other half coming up with bad literary puns.
Metaphors and similes, I found, were some of the most profound ways to get an idea across to an audience. I was always amazed to see what other people can pull from within the depths of their minds.
- In 11th grade, we learned how to take the analysis that we had originally done for these papers and present effective examples to bolster our arguments.
- In 12th grade, it was wrapping up everything that we’d learned thus far and learning how to communicate our points not only effectively, but efficiently. It meant going over the word limit and cutting fluff so that we could present fleshed-out arguments in a few of words as possible, while still preserving its essence.
I loved English’s arbitrary nature, and I loved the rhetoric that teachers used when they would try to communicate arguments to us. I would always love the oratory skills that grew stronger day by day, and the public speaking that we’re pushed to exercise every so often. It was like this: every time a teacher mentions one of his or her favourite texts, I felt compelled to read it, or at least write down the name for future reference. If some piece of writing was strong enough to win over an English teacher, then goddamnit, it must be special.
Reading Shakespeare for the first time was a whole new experience. I owe a lot to Shakespeare for evolving the writing in a strong imagination. Reading the Bard in high school was a daunting challenge. After all, this was Shakespeare with a capital S — the greatest writer in history — with all of his thees, thous, and things. And there was the cultural weight of 400 years of Bardolotry pressing down on those five-act plays that we all could tangibly feel adding to the intimidating atmosphere. Reading Shakespeare boosted my confidence as a young reader. And to my benefit, my teachers were there to show me some of the juicer things that needed unpacking.
Their probing questions and close reading activities helped me understand what the nurse really meant when she said, “Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit, wilt thou not, Jule? and it revealed more deeply Iago’s machinations when he said, “But I will wear my heart upon my sleeve, for daws to peck at. I am not what I am.”
Shakespeare hit a sweet spot and helped me to become a better reader. I was able to read some of it on my own but I also needed guidance, modelling, and the questions of more experienced, more skilled readers (my teachers) to help me to think deeper and with a more critical eye.
In my knowledge, I knew the English language has the ability to knock down a lot of barriers, including cultural ones. Good English is not only classy but a possibility to continue studies and specializations in the best universities in the world. Education is very important to improve yourself but learning English also improves the quality of life. You have access to jobs that you could not even take into consideration, you can evaluate an international career and you can live in many countries with the ease of being able to go shopping or negotiate rent for the house. English enhanced my personality, interactive skills, and imagination.