Tuesday, January 03, 2006

8th Grade English

My background in writing came - literally - from a Writer's Corner. When I was in 8th grade, my English teacher called a number of us to her desk after class one day. While this sort of impromptu meeting usually instilled a fear of trouble in my veins, this one felt okay due to the character of the other 4 or 5 students she called over.

She told us that she thought we were doing a great job on the coursework and on tests, but that we all acted bored in class (true). She made us an offer that I will remember for the rest of my life, due to the general uniqueness relative to every other class I ever sat through. She told us that if we maintained a 90% average on our tests, we would be allowed to sit at a round table in the corner of the room and dedicate the 45 minutes of class time to a creative writing concept of our choosing. We could write short stories, novels, poetry, and the list went on and on.

I was in a phase that included heavy reading of Alistair MacLean, so I set out to draft a spy novel just like his. The trouble was, within 50 pages, I had already killed a number of characters and established little to no plot. I think I amused my teacher, and I certainly enjoyed the opportunity she afforded us that day. I hope she realizes that she affected me in a way I will always remember, and appreciate. Too bad I don't have more memories like that of my school days!


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