Literacy Narrative

The third essay in this exhibit was contributed to the DALN by an anonymous student on the Columbus State Community College (CSCC) campus where members of the DALN team held an "Everybody has a literacy story..tell us yours!" event in an outside quadrangle on a cold and blustery day. Cynthia Selfe remembers, a young woman walked up to the table and said, "I have a story for you." She then sat down at the table and recorded an audio literacy narrative into a microphone plugged into a long (and very old) extension cord. While the resulting recording has some acoustic flaws, the story itself has no flaws as a first-hand account of literacy.

The speaker begins by noting, "I am a student at Columbus State Community College and right now I have almost sixty days sober. I also a singer and a songwriter." Identifying herself a an early reader and writer, the speaker recalls that she wrote her first song in fourth grade. She adds,

I didn't start using until much later, but I found that when I was drinking and using drugs I found so much more creativity—I thought what I thought was creativity—was able to come out in myself.

"I would end up getting drunk one night," she continues,

and I would just write pages and pages and pages of—I don't even know what it was. I don't know if I was intending them to be songs or if they were just thoughts of if they were intended to be poems, but I would wake up the next day, and I would find all these pages laying around. And I had no clue; I was baffled that I had even, like written them....

Admitting that this behavior was a bit "scary," the young woman also confessed it was "really awesome to know I was capable of doing that."


Anonymous's narrative in the Digital Archive of Literacy Narratives (DALN):
Uncaptioned (.mov)
Captioned (.mov)
Timecode Transcript (.txt)