"Introverted bookworm" is often how I have viewed myself. As a child, I attended a private Catholic school to better situate me, as I had recently migrated to the US from Italy. As a young student, learning was limited to spelling and writing. I was too young to think that this was far from normal. It wasn’t until I moved out of the district that I found myself alienated in a class called math.
I had seen numbers before, but they seemed like something abstract; I never knew that they were meant to be computed, worked into ‘real-life’. I accepted mathematics as a challenging concept that I would have to take my time with. I utilized tutoring services to ameliorate my skill-set in the material we were covering and slowly began seeing improvements, ultimately signifying I can work on math piecemeal. Reading, on the other hand, was the greatest challenge.
As a third grader, I was introduced to in-class readings, aimed to help students learn themes, motifs, and analysis. I found myself struggling heavily to just read- let alone participate in reading comprehension exercises. I tried tutoring services a couple of times, only to receive feedback from my tutor that I was not a good candidate because I was too active- I didn’t like to stay put! Going forward, one of my older cousins always introduced me to new sequels he was reading, like Harry Potter, and I wanted to experience the joy he felt every time he came across a new read. One day, I told my mom I wanted to visit a local library. It was there that my I found my identity.
At the library, I chose my first ever book. I experimented with reading it by the annunciation taught to me by the tutor. It took about 10 minutes to read one page. When I completed it, I remember shouting to my mother that I had done it! I read an entire page on my own! Her and I couldn’t have felt happier at the moment. In the following years, reading became second nature to me, due to the joy I experienced whenever I found myself in my readings. I had discovered a new identity and passion, unlike any other activity I had participated in. This hobby was particular to me because it was an activity I enjoyed with myself, being able to visualize the story mentally, and I looked forward to reading more than watching an actual movie even. Now, reading and writing have become staples in my life, and I love sharing my story with others because my greatest challenge became one of my strongest joys.