How To: Design Business Cards Using GIMPJuly 3, 2010
Reader Response: Persepolis (Graphic Novel)July 16, 2010
Reader Response: “Me Talk Pretty One Day”
By David Sedaris on pages 559-564 in “How To Write Anything”
When reading the essay, there were two descriptive elements that stood out from the others. They both involved Anna a young Polish woman from “an industrial town outside of Warsaw” and how, when confronted by the teacher, she “stared down at her lap as though the appropriate comeback were stitched somewhere alongside the zipper of her slacks”. This struck me as a powerful description because it immediately triggered a memory of a young shy girl with whom I had shared a desk with back in the sixth grade. She would do precisely as the author described when confronted by anything she perceived as intimidating. This combined with the author’s description of the young woman as having teeth the “size of tombstones” and being “rabbity” helped set a visual setting for the story allowing me to see it as opposed to just read it.
Another unique aspect of this author’s writing style was the use of what can only be referred to as gibberish in place of spoken French words that he was unable to understand or translate at the time. Had the assignment itself not hinted at the fact that this might be for comedic value, I fear I may have never associated it with such. For me personally, I found this aspect of the author’s writing to be choppy and associate reading it with the likes of reading one’s incomplete thoughts scribbled in the margins of a word puzzle. This caused some level of confusion and resulted in me having to read the essay a second time in an effort to overcome the broken flow of the author’s style. This also adversely affected my ability to mentally depict the remainder of the author’s essay. It was not until the very end of the essay when he describes the awakening feeling of having learned something new, that I was again able to identify with the author’s writing.
I have to admit that I struggled with this assignment in part because I simply didn’t care for either the essay or the author’s writing style. This coupled with my inability to identify with his difficulty in learning another language further alienated me from the essay and presented a challenge when trying to relate to the author’s experience. I have always found that regardless of what language barriers may present themselves, most people communicate equally through action and expression as much as they do verbally and understanding in most cases is simply a matter of acute observation. In the end, the author’s failure to communicate his experiences in a way that related to me as a reader made it difficult to get much of a feel for the content of the essay. In regard to his mood, I am not really sure I understood his feeling other than to say that I assume he was attempting to communicate a feeling of being isolated and intimidated by the teacher and her teaching style. Only then does the author feel triumphant when those same teaching methods later proved to be effective? I say that I assume this because once again, I feel he failed to communicate this or much of anything at all.
Reference: “Me Talk Pretty One Day” By David Sedaris on pages 559-564 in “How To Write Anything”