My Literacy Journey

Archive for April 2010

Where I’m From

I’m from Birchwood Lane, the last house on the left.

I’m from Great Neck, New York, the town that holds my entire family.

I’m from Sunday morning bagels and lox to early dinner Sunday nights to prepare for the week.

I’m from dreidels and gelt on Chanukah to warm, colorful cashmere sweaters.

I’m from cupcakes, cupcakes, and more cupcakes.

I’m from mom’s noodle pudding, brisket, bubbling macaroni and cheese, and famous spaghetti and meatballs.

I’m from the captivating aromas in mom’s kitchen, to dad’s fresh-smelling cologne.

I’m from family bar and bat mitzvahs, to family vacations in Puerto Rico and St. Maarten.

I’m from destination Thanksgivings and family gatherings.

I’m from “six of one; half a dozen of the other” and “don’t count your chickens”.

I’m from “friends come and go but family is forever”.

I’m from Ernie barking, mom laughing, and guitars strumming.

I’m from long walks with Ernie, Andy-Boo’s concerts, Jdub’s tailwaiting, and dinner with mom and dad.

I’m from nine cousins, all who are my best friends.

I’m from grandma Milly, sharing my birthday.

I’m from lunch dates with Grandma Anita and Grandpa Bob.

I’m from my Great Neck house, my apartment in the city, and my life for four years in Florida.

I’m from Judaism, the only girl between two brothers, a loving family, and sensitivity.

By Carly Wotman

I sighed to myself as I read this for the first time in three months.  Where was my heart and soul? Why did it seem to be so in the surface? I was disappointed in my attempt to lay my heart out on the table for the world to see.  Was I afraid? Would people perceive me as different? After reading it over for the third time, I realized that what honesty and openness was missing.  I needed to open myself up to the world so that people could see how I was reading the world because of where I was from.

Where I’m From is far more than the physical places in which we are present in. It is how our experiences shape our perceptions about the world, our opinions, our sensitivities, and how we walk through life.  Had I attempted writing where I was from again, it would not only shed light on the positive experiences I have encountered in my life.  It would expose who I was because of the hardships I have faced, my fears, the challenges, and the good stuff that has given me faith to believe.



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  • Marjorie Siegel: This can be the greatest lesson of all to take into your career as a teacher!
  • Marjorie Siegel: This is such a powerful way to make critical literacy work meaningful in local settings and to focus on deconstruction, reconstruction, and social act
  • Marjorie Siegel: Another book that offers an excellent guild to critical literacy in a primary grade classroom is Vivian Vasquez's exploration of her own teaching with