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  • The Miracle of Language

    “The Day Language Came Into My Life” by Helen Keller offers some insight into how Keller learned how to speak and write. When she was just eighteen months old, Helen lost her sight and hearing to an illness. She was able to miraculously overcome this challenge by learning how to communicate. One of the people that played an important role in Helen’s life was her teacher, Anne Mansfield Sullivan. In the opening paragraph, Helen explains how important Ms. Sullivan was to her because she taught her how to read and write. The opening paragraph also provides a perspective for readers to understand the magnitude of this accomplishment. Anne worked with Helen to help her learn how to communicate despite being blind and deaf. 

    One of the key elements that contribute to the effectiveness of “The Day Language Came Into My Life” is Keller’s use of vivid sensory descriptions. Throughout the essay, Keller describes her experience in vivid detail, using sensory language to bring her world to life for the reader. For example, she describes the darkness and silence of her early life as “a wall of blackness” that surrounded her. Keller also mentioned that the world was “an immense, solid silence.” When she finally learns the word “water,” she says that she “felt the cool stream trickle through my fingers and return to the pitcher.” This allows the reader to experience her world as she did. It also gave the readers a chance to understand the importance of language in connecting us to the people around us. 

    Another element that contributes to the effectiveness of Keller’s essay is emotion. Helen is able to resonate with readers on a personal level. She does this by overcoming a significant challenge in her life. This is something that almost everybody has done or strives to do in their life. Keller notes in the essay, “I was like a ship in a dense fog… when language came and gave me light.” If a ship is in a dense fog it is difficult to see and therefore, difficult to navigate through the water. This simile perfectly describes Helen’s situation as she cannot physically see meaning that it is difficult for her to navigate through life. When she gets introduced to language she is able to see the world from a new perspective and is able to navigate through life much easier.

    Finally, the theme of transformation is a key element that contributes to the effectiveness of Keller’s essay. The main theme of the essay is transformation. Keller goes from a state of isolation and frustration to one of connection and appreciation. In the beginning of the essay Helen is frustrated about not being able to communicate with others. As the essay progresses and Ms. Sullivan begins to teach her how to read and write, Helen develops an appreciation for the world around her. She also feels much more connected to the people around her because she is now able to communicate with them. This element is so effective because the theme of transformation is universal and appeals to people of all ages and backgrounds. It serves as a reminder that we are capable of change and growth, even when we are facing extremely difficult challenges.

    In conclusion, “The Day Language Came Into My Life” by Helen Keller is a powerful essay that shows how important language is to people. Its effectiveness lies in its vivid sensory descriptions, emotions, and theme of transformation. Keller’s story serves as a reminder of the importance of language and communication in connecting us to the world and to each other. 

  • The Positive Impact of a Great Teacher

    My experience taking Chinese at St. Johns High School has helped shape me into the person I am today. It all started the summer before my freshman year when I was registering for my classes and I had to decide which language course to take. At the time, my dad was traveling to China every year for work and thought it would be a great idea if I learned the language. He recognized the importance of learning a language that is only offered to about one percent of high school students. I decided to register for the class. On the first day of school, I walked into the class and there were more than forty students there. The only person I knew in the room was one of my hometown friends I had known my entire life. 

    Not a single student in the class had any prior experience with the language so we all struggled freshman year. Sophomore year was much different. The class shrunk down to about fifteen students due to some people advancing to a higher level and some people just dropping the class. Since the class had gotten smaller, we were able to take trips to Chinatown in Boston a few times that year. This is where my great experience in the class began. During my junior year, there were just eight students in the class. We ended up starting the Chinese club at the school. Every few months we would set up tables and bring in Chinese food for the entire school to enjoy. At the end of the school year, we found out if we were going to take Chinese for a fourth year, we were all going to be put in a different class with a different teacher. We were all hesitant to take the language during our senior year because we all had Mrs. Wu for the first three years and had an incredible experience in the class. Mrs. Wu decided she would go out of her way to teach us during our senior year. This was the point in time where we all started to form a real bond with each other.

    There was not a single day where everyone in the class wasn’t having a good time that year. We continued the Chinese club and it started to grow. One day, instead of having a normal class, we went to one of the middle school chinese classes and presented them with why they should continue to take the language. We talked about the amazing experience we had and the great opportunities the language provides. I met some of my best friends during the class, including our teacher. After graduation, Mrs. Wu even came to one of our graduation parties just to congratulate us. Deciding to take this class was one of the best decisions of my life even though I struggled at times.

  • Hello World!

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