A Defining Moment

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Many people influenced and events my reading and writing development throughout my childhood from my mother, my elementary librarian, and Sesame Street, to getting my first pair of glasses. We all have defining moments in our lives where we can look back and say, “That moment changed my life.” This is the story of the defining moment that changed the way I read and write, and I learned it from a whale!

It was the beginning of my seventh grade year. I was about twelve years old and, I guess you could say a nerd. I did well in school so I was placed in the Gifted and Talented program with other nerds in my class. As part of this program we were required to read at a certain level or read a certain number of books each semester. You would earn points for reading these books and giving a book report on each of them. Every week we would go to the library to read or choose other books. It was in this library that I unknowingly discovered the one book that would change everything I knew about reading, writing, and English in general.

I remember vividly, scrolling through the isles and shelves of books looking for my next adventure. I had already read Swiss Family Robinson, and Robinson Crusoe, so I regarded myself as an accelerated reader compared to my classmates, but the task I was about to undertake would prove far more daunting than anything I had attempted thus far. As I walk throughout the isles I see the books getting thicker and thicker. I thought to myself that maybe

Lewis pg.2

I was ready for something bigger, so I carefully choose a fairly large book and read the cover to myself. “Moby Dick.” The illustration on the book was very old but interesting. There was a small boat with three men in it. One was a dis...

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...derstanding of the language and the overall message the author was trying to get across. My vocabulary grew also as a result of laboring through the formidable book. With each chapter, I encounter new challenges. The way the author elaborated extensively about each detail was something I had not experienced in books I had previously read. I eventually finished with Moby Dick and managed to impress my teacher and my librarian. Being able to finish that book and understand it is one of the highlights of my academic achievements.

After a long, love hate relationship with a whale called Moby Dick, I gained knowledge and skills that I never intended to gain when first choosing that book. I look back now and see that that was the one book that taught me more about how to read, write, and comprehend English, than any other instance in my life up to that point.

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