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Unformatted text preview: Alexa Graves Brothers and Worms ENC1102.0038 02/09/11 Valencia 1242 words Brothers and Worms Growing up on a farm, I learned at an early age how to entertain myself through boredom. I was born and raised in Gainesville, which many people do not consider “country”, but my house was. We had dusty dirt roads and a lot of free grazing animals on our farm. I loved the farm, I loved spending time on the farm doing whatever I could possibly get my greasy little fingers on. But more than that, I loved making my daddy happy. I strived daily just to make him feel proud of me. I learned to read and write at the young age of three and always wanted to read to my daddy. I’m pretty sure he got sick of me reading him The Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly time and time again. But yet, time and time again he said, “Sure honey, you can read me a bed time story tonight.” Instantly my night would light up and I would run to read to him. During the days, when I wasn’t wasting his time with stories about old insect ingesting ladies, my dad was working away on building our house. Right away I started to make friends when he began building a house on the street that connected to our farm in the backyard. One in particular was Katie. We would play with dolls and explore our Graves -1- imaginations all day and then have sleepovers at night. Instantaneously, we became friends. One hot humid summer day when I was about seven years old, and Katie was six, we decided to set up a tent in my construction filled front yard. We took all of our toys and coloring books into this tent. Katie knew that I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up and had a brilliant idea. “Let’s play doctor,” she said knowing that I would love the idea. So naturally we played doctor, me being the doctor and her the sickly patient. I made her leave the tent and go to the “waiting room,” also known as a cinder block around the pile of dirt and cement mixings. While she was gone I set up a plastic clipboard with scratch paper and a big blue Crayola crayon. I laid out our blankets to resemble a medical table and called in my patient, “Oh Miss Katie! The doctor will see you now.” She walked in and I asked her what was wrong with her. “Well I do not want to eat and my tummy hurts,” she explained. “Hmm, I see!,” I said as I poked and prodded her stomach with intriguing interest. She laughed a little because she was extremely ticklish and I gave her a demeaning look. I took a deep breath and then I started to write. I wrote a lot in five minutes, almost a full page report. I told her I thought I had an idea what was wrong with her and she looked worried. “I think you have worms,” I said with a seriousness only a seven year old can convey while playing doctor. She stuck her tongue out in disgust in the split second before we both began laughing hysterically. My dad heard the ruckus and came to see what was so funny. The sight of him popping his head into the tent in confusion made us laugh even harder. I showed him my medical report of poor Katie and he got a worried expression over his face and took my paper and Graves -2- walked away. Katie and I became worried too as he usually would have a joke for us. Suddenly he popped back in, “I knew I had a few left over,” he said as he handed Katie a small container of Tic-Tac mints that had the label scratched off and “Rx” written over it. We realized it was “medicine” and thanked him and all three of us laughed. A few nights later I noticed a new frame in his room. I crawled through his room pretending to be a spy and made it to the frame. I was shocked to see what he decided to hang in his room. It was my “medical report” from a few days earlier. I was so happy. “You know, every day I grow more and more proud of you,” he said nearly making me shriek in fear. “Do I really?” I questioned. He nodded and lifted me to his knee. He said, “seeing you learn makes me so happy.” I just smiled and knew that that night I would be reading him a bed time story. Every time I would get a good grade since that moment I would tell him right away. Of course growing older I became more humble and wouldn’t jump at the opportunity to brag about my accomplishments but if he asked me, I gladly told him. Because of the pressure I felt to continue to make my dad proud, I always felt as though it was worth more to put in the effort of reading and writing. I began to lose interest in reading and writing as a pastime, and more as an obligation for a grade when I started high school. The books that I was forced to read were just awful and I cringed every time I had a new reading assignment. One of my teachers even made me write an essay a week. That turned me against reading and Graves -3- writing so much that I quickly mastered the skill of faking my way through homework and essays. One night during my sophomore year, I was studying on my bed when I heard a noise. I listened harder and realized it was the sound I wouldn’t mistake for anything. A couple small and discreet taps sounded on my door. “Come in Dawson,” I said knowingly. The door gently cracked open and my five year old brother tip-toed to the edge of my room. He looked as if he was bathed in innocence and shyness that night and I knew he wanted something. “Do you need something Bud?” I asked through a grin. He nodded and asked me to read him a bedtime story. Pure joy must have exuberated from my pores when I jumped up because he smiled and raced me to his room. I remember all those times reading to my dad or vice versa. When I began reading he sat quiet and content, more content than I had ever seen him. When I finished The Hungry Caterpillar the second time he asked for one more, and I had to say no because our mom told him it was bed time. We both whined and then he looked up at me and gave me a huge hug and thanked me. It brought back all the feelings of pride my father must have had for me, that I now had for my brother. This bed time story tradition continued until the day I moved out. Now my seven-year-old brother reads and writes by himself and brings home good grades to show me. Teaching my brother to read and write as he was growing up, the way that my dad taught me, reignited the reading and writing flame inside of me. Now I learned enjoy to read for fun again. I love picking up a book and getting sucked in, just as long as I choose it. Then, I feel proud of myself for actually reading a whole novel. Graves -4- Graves -5- ...
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- Spring '08