There was a teacher who was my 12th grade English teacher who had this knack and love for teaching that went beyond expectations. She really loved her job and made sure no child was left behind.
There was a writing assignment that we were to write and it was to be a fiction piece based on a particular theme that we pulled from a glass bowl. I thought it was fun until it was my turn to pull a paper out from the bowl.
When I looked at the paper, the theme I had pulled was to write a fictional story about someone who woke up and found out it was the end of the world. Now, I know the known writing rule is for you to not start a story about the character waking up, but that was the hardest part. I was NOT to start off with the character waking up even though that’s what the paper said I’ve chosen.
I had three days to write, as do everyone else who had to write a theme based on what they pulled from the bowl. It was difficult for someone like me as a 12th grader who loves writing to have trouble putting the story together. So, the day before I was to turn it in, I buckle down and write and write as the creative juices started to flow effortlessly. When I turned it in the next day, she immediately started reading it. I didn’t know whether to stand and wait or sit and wait. So, I chose to stand and wait.
When she stopped reading and looked up at me with a serious expression, my heart dropped. She slowly took off her glasses and said, “Pamela, I can tell you wrote this story from your heart, but also at the last minute.” I don’t know how she knew that, and I was hurt until she said the next line.
“The story sounds great and is extremely creative, but I can also tell you held back. Don’t be afraid to go there. Go as far as you can go, and keep going. The ending of this story is surprising and really good how the main character thought all of this was happening and to find out it was only a dream…” She was telling me.
When she studied it more and continue to tell me not to hold back and be as unique as I am, I can accomplish a lot more. Though I received a B grade, I truly felt like I have done better than my best until sometimes later I went back to read it and saw what she saw. I could have done better. (I did wrote an essay one year that ended up inside a glass encased bulletin for all to walk by and see.)
I remembered she also said to me that I like to play it safe instead of just going there and not worry what others would think and say. There are days now that I still occasionally think that way and that memory of my 12th grade teacher and that moment will come to the surface and remind me what was said.
Thanks for reading.