Tin Aung Myint
Manzano / AP English
From a Wee Little Preschooler to a Wee Big High-Schooler
So everything—my reading, writing, and other experiences— started with my birth on October 6, 1996; well okay, not really—it didn’t start with my birth. They, my reading and writing experiences, started with preschool, which is the same for most people. These two skills are an integral part of my life; I use them almost every day. However, that doesn’t mean I have to like both of them. I did not like reading very much then, writing even more so; essays and paragraphs and essays and some more essays were painful. My writing skills, to say the very least, were not very developed. As time passed, however, my views toward writing and reading began to change and my ability to write evolved. My reminiscing begins with preschool and there, my first encounter with writing.
It was an uncomfortable day, especially since I was wearing a tiny little suit made for a three year old child. The heat did not make it any better. Days in Burma were at best, sweltering. They are always around eighty or ninety degrees; the worst days were days when the temperature reached to about a hundred degree Fahrenheit. It was my first day at preschool; the preschool I went to was for learning English. My family decided learning English was much better than learning Burmese. After a week of initiation at preschool, we were introduced to writing. They gave us sheets of papers with faint outlines of the alphabet for us to trace. I traced them in class; I traced them at home; and I traced them at my relatives’ homes. Basically, I traced them until I knew how to write the alphabet backwards, frontwards, inwards, and outwards. I didn’t like tracing the alphabet at all; my letters were all skewed and scratched. They were like chicken scrawls.
Preschool was all about easing into the basics of writing and talking. We had these “cycles of conversations” where we answer questions the teacher asked us and where we asked each other questions. Reading sounds and vowels were introduced to us only a little in preschool. This was an important time for me, because it was a period for learning the foundations for writing, which I will use for the rest of my life.
After I was finished with preschool, I was enrolled into a private elementary school. It was an escalator type of school, which meant that elementary school, middle school, and high school were joined together, but in different sections. The name of the school, if I can recall it, was called YIEC. I went through a part of elementary school, from first to third grade, there. The first day of first grade started out bad.
It was short—way too short. My hair was fashioned into one of those incorrigible traditional, ubiquitous and short Burmese haircuts; the haircut is something similar to a bob haircut, except it was much cruder and much shorter. To put it plainly, it resembled a coconut. I did not like it at all; short hair has been and will always be the bane of my life. It was the first day of my first grade life. This was the grade where I was first distinctly aware of my dislike for writing, reading, and short hair; it was also the grade where I became closer towards my best friends, my cousins. I was five years old.
Now, one might think that on the first day of first grade, a child would not have any friends with him, but she would not be necessarily right. I was lucky to have been born with two very close cousins; we were all best friends and our births were only days apart. We were known as “The Three Mice” among our relatives and families. Another extensively affectionate name was “The Three Monkeys”. Contrary to general opinions, I liked to think of us as “The Three Musketeers”. These two names have still stuck to this day, to a tender age of sixteen; my mother still calls me “mouse” or “monkey”. On this day, we three best friends went to first grade together.
First grade was an...
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