As I got older and as I started to learn new things, I noticed the importance of having a large vocabulary. I always got good grades in school and I always loved the look on my teacher’s face when she read a certain word that only adults knew, or a certain phrase that would resemble a bookworm. In my case, this was true, because even at an early age I loved reading books and short stories. I loved reading Arthur Conan Doyle and while other children had posters of their favorite sports figures or actors on their walls I had a framed picture of Sherlock Holmes and John Watson right above my bed.
Even though I had taken a lot of English classes, perhaps the sole reason why I even know a second language is because I used to watch cartoons as a child. When I was not in school, or with friends playing outside I’d turn on my TV and watch my favorite animated characters, especially during Saturday mornings. I would go around the house and repeat their favorite phrases. Whenever I’d eat a carrot I’d lean against a wall and say: “What’s up, doc?”, or whenever “Spongebob Squarepants” came on TV I’d sing along with the theme. I didn’t start learning English in school up until I was 9 years old, but when I did, the teacher noticed that I had the basics of it covered and that I had to
just focus on mastering it. The teacher also told me that when I learn how to think in a certain language, then I will know for certain that I had mastered it. I didn’t quite understand what she meant until I got a little older.
During my teenage years, both my Serbian and my English greatly improved. Even though I attended the high school of economics, literature still played a vital role during this period for me. I understood that if I were to take up a profession in economics, it would be easy for me to impress my coworkers, my boss or any potential clients with my vast vocabulary. I had a similar mentality when it came to mastering the English language. I knew that it was crucial for me to grasp this global tongue at a literal level in order for me to find a wellpaying job and climb the corporate ladder. I had gotten
German as a third language in high school and was interested to see how well I would be able to learn it. I even took into consideration learning French or Russian but with playing tennis and school it would’ve been a far bigger bite than I could chew.
Perhaps the most fascinating works of literature that I read while I was a teenager were
“The Bridge on Drina” by Ivo Andric and “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo. “The Bridge th on Drina” arguably represents the epitome of Serbian literature, especially in the 20
century. I had tried reading the book many times when I was younger but I couldn’t quite understand it fully until I was older. It fascinated me how complex a story, that spans over four centuries, could be so thoroughly represented in a novel but yet be so easy to understand. While we were analyzing the book in class I raised my hand so much to the point where the teacher directly looked at me the moment she asked a question. I could never decide whether I preferred reading about Sicilians in New York over reading
about the struggles my own people had to face in the past. The movie “The Godfather” really impressed me. It was the first time I saw a big man such as Lenny Montana, who played Luca Brasi, on screen and such a