March 11, 2002
This week, we are launching five stories written by students from Midland, Ontario. You can read some of their stories as well as hear them, with the audio player.
These students are all enrolled at the Midland Area Reading Council (MARC) . This year, MARC is celebrating its 20th anniversary. It is a community-based literacy program, doing mostly one-to-one tutoring, and some small group teaching as well as computer courses. MARC serves mainly Basic level students 1 & 2.
The following story was written by Norbert Duquette. Norbert is enrolled in literacy classes at Midland Area Reading Council. He invites everyone to read his two stories.
Play an audio version of this story
Learning to read has increased my self-confidence. I can read many things now that I don't read before. Learning to read has set me free.
(1) Reading has increased my self-confidence
- I learned to control my emotions.
By "Emotion" I mean the anger that I stored in me. When I tried to read I would get very mad. When I tried to spell a word, I tried to decode it but I would give up hope. So that emotion I had to control, I'm trying to control it. The more I control the anger, the closer I get, to where I am going.
- It gave me a voice through words.
I was so lonely inside. I was there, but I was not there. Like a walking statue with no voice. When people would get together to talk on a topic, I tried to talk, but I got very nervous and stuttered or spoke too fast and talked backwards. One by one they all had an excuse, they would leave me talking. I was all alone like a statue, with tears trickling down from my sad face. Yearning to have a voice; to have one person to listen to my voice. One day I had to take a look at where I was going wrong, so I did. I have a small voice but I have a voice. I am no longer a walking statue; I am a human a person, a man. I've learned how to Communicate much better.
- I express myself and my ideas and feelings better.
Now I'm learning to listen. I'm not always good at it though. I like to talk. "Oh, do I ever." I'm getting better at listening.
(2) I can read many things that I couldn't read before.
- It has opened doors.
The first door was freedom within. The door I closed and hid from the world of words. I read many books of people; they inspired me to go on. My first real test was my driving test and I passed. It was so beautiful.
The feeling was incredible. I have learned a lot in the past years. The one thing That really stuck with me until I die, Gods name Jehovah and all about his Kingdom.
- Read signs
Reading signs is very important for your survival. As a driver when people told me to go On Robert Street, turn right on Jane Street, I did not know where it was. I needed my directions by landmark. Now I pay attention to the signs.
I can read medications, recipes, instructions and important information. By reading I'm slowly getting to know who I am. Now I have dreams and I have hope. It's like Somebody throwing a bucket of dreams at me. I have chosen one dream out of the bucket. That is who am I.
My experience with recipes
One day my boss gave me a recipe for honey garlic wings in the morning. I had to Prepare it for supper. I could read it but I was stuck on one word. I asked my fellow worker what is this word? I prepared the recipe. When I looked at the honey garlic wings, I couldn't believe my eyes.
They were so beautiful. The sauce was like liquid gold. So I tasted one I couldn't believe that I had made them. I really did it! Everyone ate them. They wanted more but They had eaten all of them. I got high off of their comments. It was unbelievable. That afternoon was a new beginning for me. Now I read and make new recipes all the time.
Your Truly Norbert Duquette