A Superman in All of Us
By Alyssa Escobar,
In "Superman and Me" by Sherman Alexie,
Alexie argues that in order to survive we need
the ability
to know how to read. "I learned how to read
to read,
with a Superman comic book," was Alexie's
you aren't
opening sentence. The symbolism of Superman
able to do typical
has always been about possessing the strength
day to day stuff.
needed for truth and justice--possessing the
You wouldn't be able
strength needed to overcome even the most
to drive because you can't read the signs.
difficult of obstacles. Everyone--including
You wouldn't be able to text, email, search stuff
Superman--has a kryptonite, but getting past the
on the internet, make a shopping list, read the
kryptonite...getting past the weakness...that's
ingredient labels on food packages, etc.
the essence of Superman. There is a Superman
Why wouldn't you want to be independent
in all of us, and it begins with reading.
and do all those things on your own?
Reading is the root of every life skill. If you
Without the proper literacy skills, you aren't
know how to identify words and letters then
able to get a job. If you aren't able to get a job,
you'll be able to learn how to write. If you know there's a chance you may involve yourself in
how to do both these things then you can learn
criminal activity. People need to find a way to
and excel in school. If you excel in school, you
get money, and crime becomes the short term
excel in life. I do agree with the fact that we
answer. Crime becomes their kryptonite.
need to learn how to read to survive. There are
"I learned how to read with a Superman
many reasons for this. In life we are on our
comic book," was Alexie's opening sentence.
own. Without the proper skills, you won't be
It grasped my attention and made me wonder
able to succeed. You should want the best life
how reading could be as powerful as Superman.
for yourself. If you know reading is a small
But it is. Reading gives you the power "to leap
obstacle, you should want to overcome that.
tall buildings in a single bound." Reading gives
Just like Alexie did.
you the power to make good decisions. Reading
In life you learn that you have to do good in
gives you the power to stand up to injustices.
school to get into a good college so then you're
Alexie's dedication to learning is inspiring.
able to get a good job. Reading gives you the
Nobody taught Alexie how to read. He learned
abilities to be successful at any job. Even in a
on his own. I learned that if you have the
fast food restaurant, without being literate and
willpower of "a speeding bullet," anything is
numerate, you cannot take orders and count
possible. Like Alexie, set your goals and then
money. Math and English go hand in hand.
craft steps to achieve them. Find your inner
When you solve a math problem, you need
Superman, and any kryptonite that comes your
language to be able to explain the steps used
way can be defeated.
to arrive at the answer.