06 March 2008

Who did for you?

Over at Flawed but Authentic, Kelly asks about people who inspired you when you were a young person. She tells about some teachers who made a difference when she was a high school student and already a mother:
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.

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Who did for you?

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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.

5 comments:

Day Dreamer said...

Mrs. Lehney in my snior year.

She was the most open minded religion teacher I ever had. (I went to Catholic high schoool.)

She made us laugh almost every day, and encouraged us to use humor when times were tough. She died of cancer two years after I graduated. But there are times, when I'm laughing through tears, that I still think of her.

Lisa said...

I had a few teachers that really inspired me and encouraged my writing. (My parents thought writing was a waste of time.)Another woman who inspired me is named Sharon. She was the one that said, "You don't HAVE to stay in this small town. YOu can do more than that. The world is a big place, get out there!"

I'm still friends with her. She was my biggest cheerleader in high school and college. When my parents were telling me, "you're stupid. You'll never make it. DOn't waste your time," she was telling me, "You can do this! You are worthwhile. You are smart."

So I owe her alot.

claire said...

I had a Lit teacher, Ms. Norman, who was a total hippie and a great cheerleader in her own way. She told us that there was a lot of world to see and that we should always expand ourselves to do something we have never done before and then do something that might make us uncomfortable to help us grow.
She was great.

Mocha said...

I loved your comment on that. Made me want to go back to the classroom and teach them the value of paper and, of course, words. I could get all emotional right now again. Those people are treasures.

The giggle from the Japanese videos are, as ever, priceless. I heart the Japanese and their game shows. They have such HEART when playing. Gonna go watch it right now.

gael said...

8th grade. Dennis O'Connor. He was an English teacher who pushed me to analyze, decide and back up my opinions. I was discovering feminism and he encouraged me to delve more. In suggesting that I report on one of the flag-bearers of the times, he pointed out that Gloria Steinem was more attractive, so maybe I'd want to study her. I reviewed "The Feminine Mystique."

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