Inspiration: English Language and Ms. Christensen Essay

Submitted By Jk3000bot
Words: 745
Pages: 3

The Impact of Ms. Christensen Coming from a traditional Chinese household, English was spoken second to Cantonese. My daily dose of spoken English came from either school or television shows. I remember spending hours on the PBS channel watching bald-headed Caillou and Barney the purple dinosaur. Because of this, my English was not the best but also definitely not the worst. As a result, in school I primarily put more focus on my math and science classes where there is not a language barrier; the Pythagorean Theorem is the same whether it is in ancient Greek or in modern English. Despite the unbalanced focus, I managed to pass all my humanity classes with good grades. I guess zoning out in class and neglecting reading homework worked out perfectly for me. It was not until I had Ms. Christensen as a tenth grade literature teacher that I realized I had taken my humanity classes for granted. Throughout my life, Sparknotes was a blessing from the internet Gods, and I probably could not live without it. Like many other teenagers, Sparknotes saved me countless hours of reading. This year was different though. The theme of the semester was African and Latin American literature, which was much different than the novels and works written by American and English writers I have had to read in previous years. For our summer reading homework, one of the works Ms. Christensen assigned to read was Kaffir Boy. I took the chance and dove into the writings and perspective of Mark Mathabane, a black child in apartheid South Africa, and immediately got hooked; it was a story incomparable to anything else I have ever read. I did not even mind doing the writing that accompanied the reading. Ms. Christensen’s good choice in literature finally helped me find the joy in literature, inspiring to read further. Though not assigned, Kaffir Boy prompted me to read Kaffir Boy in America, the sequel to Kaffir Boy. I never thought that a novel assigned as homework could be read as enjoyment. Initially I thought this would be a one-time deal, but after reading Kaffir Boy, I kept a more open mind in future school-related literature readings. Throughout the rest of tenth grade and of high school, I actually read all my novels. Ms. Christensen’s novel choices were impeccable and on point. Never had I read something as breathtaking and scandalous as Isabel Allende’s The House of the Spirits. My newfound enjoyment of literature translated into more accurate and meaningful analyzation of readings. Before Ms. Christensen I would make minimal effort to delve deep into the text and only skim the surface of the novel. She gave me a reason to become more interested in the English language. I began making a more conscience