Small things like bonfires and cocoa and laughter fill my memory bank and it may seem silly, but I am forever grateful. They fortified my belief in myself and my contribution to the world (they were the best kind of hippies) but also invigorated my conviction that I wasn’t a Throw Away. As confidence builders, they were extraordinary.
I had to comment about one of my favorite all-time teachers:
Mr. Robert Drew, my HS creative writing teacher. He did not use letter grades but instead employed symbols - an exclamation point for something that was good, two exclamation points for something wonderful and the beloved H (two joined exclamation points) for something truly stellar.
He taught gently, respectfully. You could read your work aloud in class or he would, or if you did not want him to, he would keep your privacy.
He treated paper as if it were magical, walking around the class with paper offered on his outstretched palms. You could take it or not take it. We all took it because we knew the paper from class was somehow better than paper from the outside world.
He died in my senior year. I still miss him.
Losing Mr. Drew unexpectedly was my first experience with grief. Because I was a bratty high schooler, I never properly thanked him. I only hope that in the cosmic scheme of things, he is somehow aware that I finally became a writer and that I think of him quite often.
Who did for you?
And in case you never make it over to Linkateria, here is a video that made me laugh and laugh. Gotta hand it to the Japanese for wacky game shows.