Bob Gibson's First Teachers Analysis

Deborah Brandt says sponsors “are any agents, local or distant, concrete or abstract, who enable, support, teach, model, as well as recruit, regulate, suppress, or withhold literacy—and gain advantage by it in some way” (166). Bob Gibson didn’t become a full-time teacher until he was in his mid-40s, and his experiences on that career path highlight both the benefits and the hindrances a sponsor can provide. Those experiences also demonstrate how integral a mixture of positive and negative sponsorship can be. Bob calls his parents his “first teachers” and therefore his most obvious sponsors. They encouraged his earliest strides toward literacy, as they helped him write the alphabet and read road signs while providing “lots and lots of encouragement …show more content…
As a result, Bob listened to lessons from the other grades, which encouraged him to “learn about reading more.” He also received his first recognition as a writer in fifth grade, with a story “about the Pilgrims landing in the New World.” He remarks that the story was probably “historically way off base,” but nonetheless the story reached “the top county educators in Harlan County, Kentucky.” They asked him if he had copied it or if his parents had written it, and when he finally convinced them it was his own work, they presented him with “some sort of certificate” that has since been lost. Both these instances encouraged Bob’s pursuit of education, despite the general “lack of educational opportunities” in the area. “Few jobs,” he says, “needed a degree of any …show more content…
He was “drawn to books” since he read extensively even before college, “ranging from comic books as a child through adventure books and into science fiction.” He “found books that opened new worlds” in the works of E.M. Forester and George Bernard Shaw, and his reading continued when he “gave in to the inevitable” and left college to join the Air Force. He read American writers like Hemingway and Faulkner as well as Russian writers, and his “voracious” reading prompted him to take a fiction class while stationed in Alaska. “I just took it because I’d been reading all those great works,” he

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