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Estel Boix Noguer

Professor Doutherd
English 5M
25th, November 2017

Experiences are More Valuable than Books


Someone rang my doorbell. I didnt have any idea who they could be, maybe my
brother? No, why would he ring the bell when he had the keys? The postman? When I
opened the door, I was surprised to see my neighbor Pablo. He was an old, kind man
who lived near us, so the first thing in mind was he wanted to talk with my mom about
neighborhood issues.
Hello Pablo, Im sorry but mom is working.I told him.
Hi Estel, how are you? It wasnt your mother who I was looking for.
Maybe I should specify that what I said was in Catalan, my native language. The
response I got was in English. Why was he talking to me in English? He had lived in the
U.S for twenty years, but he spoke a perfect Catalan. Well, he was getting old, so maybe
he was starting to mix languages.
Excuse me? I answer him again, in Catalan.
I dont understand you if you speak to me in Catalan! Your mother phoned me
yesterday and we talked about your English course in High School. So, I think that you
will have to call me Paul now.
My face turned white when I heard the words English and High School. To
be honest, they were the only words I barely understood. I got the marks the previous
day and they were great, except from English. I failed it. So, I started putting two and
two together. As a consequence, the thesis of this paper can be developed. The
following classes with him would help me in creating a literacy, which I am still
building now. Moreover, what my literacy has been made about is not only books, but
interaction with people

The lessons with Paul were not the same as in high school. We would sit in a
table and talk about the latest news, the weather and after, he would see my
assignments.
Irregular verbs? That is so easy my dear! Ok, now we are gonna sing a song to
remember them.
Paul taught me tricks to remember grammar rules by using songs. What I liked
from him was his positivity. He would always motivate me to do the most boring
homework and to study the most difficult things.
By using speaking I got a basic knowledge of English before building a
consistent literacy. When I felt that I was able to communicate well in English, I started
to get confidence, and as a consequence, my writing and reading improved. After one
month of class, Paul would lend me old books which were easy to read. Then, he would
make me write what I enjoyed while reading before giving me another book from his
collection. Every week my writings about the readings were better; he told me I was
doing a big improvement, so he started to teach me things in advance.
But Paul, we are not doing this in class.
It is nice to learn new things in life. You will see its not difficult!
At high school I became the one who would sit at front row in English. When
my peers saw I started to get good marks, they would sit next to me to ask for help.
Homework at high school was used for working harder in my grammar; in some points
tasks were so easy that once I was the first in finishing the assignments, I would rewrite
the sentences in different way, just to practice sentence transformations.
The other foundation of my English literacy was my eldest brother. He would
check my essays, making suggestions and corrections. He did as Richard Straub said in
his article Responding-Really Responding- to other students. He pointed to problems in a
constructive way for improvement (Stramb, 17). He was critical in a way that was not
discouraging. His criticisms motivated me to do my best, and following his suggestions
and advice helped me to improve my writing.
I find it accurate to talk about why I am in Sacramento State. It was thanks to
rowing (the sport I have practiced for six years) that I had the change to set off one of
my greatest adventures. One day, I received an email from someone called Mike
Connors, who was the head coach from Sacramento States Rowing team. It was a long
e-mail with a lot of information, but at the first moment I knew what was going on. He
wanted to Skype with me in order to talk about my future. He offered me a scholarship
to row and study at Sacramento State. Before this, I had to study for the SAT and the
TOEFL; without passing the tests, I was not able to join the team and enroll to classes.
For preparing them, I spent most of the day writing essays, practicing grammar, and
reading. Finally I got good marks, and Sacramento would become my new home. I
think it would not have been possible without Pauls help, who followed my progress
and cheered me on when I felt down and unmotivated. His classes gave me the chance
to have the base of literacy for my future. As Debora Brant state during her writing
Sponsors of Literacy:

More and more people are now being expected to accomplish more and more things
with reading and writing. As print and its spinoffs have entered virtually every sphere of
life, people have grown increasingly dependent on their literacy skills for earning a
living and exercising and protecting their civil rights (Brant, 10).

His tips are also helping me during my classes at Sacramento State. I have used
the song of the irregular verbs more than once just to be sure I was not doing mistakes
in using verb tenses. I brought with me the most important reading comprehensions
done to have a reference while doing analysis of writings. It is being helpful to
remember everything done with Paul, but here I am learning something new while I am
taking notes or preparing my next test. The fact of being surrounded by people who
dominate English is what is helping me to improve my English skills. It is hard facing
new things; but as Paul once told me, It is always nice to learn new things in life.