What is literacy? In the five weeks of readings, discussions, and pod brainstorming there is no one answer as to what literacy is. There are multiple ideas and concepts that makes up a vague definition of what literacy is. Even though I have realized that literacy can not really be defined since literacy is always changing, literacy in this state has so far compiled of these things.
- Literacy is more than reading and writing. Everything the readings has suggested in some way share in this idea. Literacy can be in form of symbols for example. A symbol can be drawn but not written (if going by the idea that a person can only write words and the symbol is not a letter) and a symbol can not be read with tradition words. The understanding of what the symbol means is there, and because it can be identified and bring people together it is a form of literacy. Similar to the memes of the current generation, and the symbol used to describe the artist formally known as Prince.
- Literacy piles up and spreads out. I am going to use this in the public sphere. Take any popular book series out there, for this example I will use The Hunger Games. The Hunger Games is a trilogy written by Suzanne Collins, this is the base. The Hunger games has spread out in the forms of screenplays, movies, and an official instragram page to name a few. The piling up is a bit more interesting literacy speaking. Some of those who are fans has created fan fiction. Others go to sites to roleplay as their favorite characters. (Think using a character, or even a made up character in the world created by Collins, and writing pieces of stories back and forth to each other. Stories that did not happen in the book series that the fan thinks would have been interesting.)
- It builds upon itself. For this one I will keep this one in the private sphere. If we think about Brandt’s pieces, in life we will acquire a literacy skill. When we get into a line of work, we will have to build on the skills we already have. When we get a promotion, once again we will build on the literacy we have. The worst happens and we lose said job. We already have a good foundation of literacy skills, and it may help in finding employment elsewhere, but odds are the job will not be exactly the same. So yes your literacy skills will be built up again.
- Literacy comes through sponsors and communities of practice, though access to this comes from privilege. The Library is the first sponsor and community I can think of. Growing up I knew what a library was but the only one I had access to was at the school. It’s not that I didn’t want to go to the public library, but no one was willing to take me there if I already had one I could go to five days a week. There is a difference in going because you want to and going because your teacher says you have to. I had to find my own sponsors and growing up my only community of practice was school.
- Literacy is not in crisis but is an ever evolving entity. Traditional forms of literacy says only knowing how to read, reading books, and writing consist as literacy. If you think about it, what all do you read in a day? E-mails, text messages, calendars, subtitles, books, pamphlets, shirts, prices, bumper stickers. Every time I finish a section I re-read this to make sure it sounds okay, flows well, and to check length in this case at the very least.
- Finally, literacy is one of the many acts of life we perform every day. I added this one in because a good point was made in class. Our use of literacy differs depending on who we are communicating with. Just like how we act depends on who we are around, we show different literacy skills based on who we are with. It is a way of adapting to the situation in a split second.
The world is a stage and we are merely performers who don’t get paid for the job we do.