Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Art of Writing

In my opinion my husband is a talented writer. He took English Literature and writing classes in high school. After we were married he decided to get his college degree and took some tough English classes and was told that he had a talent for writing.

That got me to thinking about my education and the English classes that I took way back when in high school. I remember in Junior High my English teacher was a very strict fellow. There wasn't any fooling around in his class unless you weren't afraid of the wooden paddle with holes in it that he kept on his desk. I remember that even though he was strict in class I still liked him for a teacher. There was something unique about him. Never could figure it out but after I graduated from High School, I found out that he committed suicide. He had hung himself in his basement.

I had a Creative Writing teacher in High School that I admired. He was a quiet, gentle man. He was soft spoken and very nice looking. I remember when he and he wife moved to the small eastern Montana town where I lived. She was my 4Th Grade teacher. I thought they were the neatest couple. Both were teachers and they were young and just starting out in life. Then in High School I took a Creative Writing class not really knowing what I was getting into and struggled through it. I remember that even though I wasn't the best writer he wasn't critical of anything that I had written. Years later I found out that my Creative Writing teacher was a homeless man on the streets of one of Montana's largest cities. I couldn't believe it. My whole image of this handsome couple was broken. I learned later that he drank all through his teaching years and his wife finally told him if he didn't quit drinking he would have to leave. He left and lived on the streets. He was alone and died of cancer.

Then I had another English teacher in High School. I can't quite remember the class but I think it was Novels or something. I can remember reading these books that I didn't have a clue as to what they were about and having to talk about them. He was a modern, hip fellow. He dressed really neat and had longer hair which was not as common for teachers in our small town. He was different than anyone I had ever been around. Well, I found out later after graduation, probably at one of the class reunions, that he used to have students over and they would smoke marijuana together. After that I realized that is why he was the way he was!

Now how strange is this that I, in my eastern Montana hometown, would encounter these three English teachers in my years of being in school? Actually as I sit here and think about a few other teachers that I had during my school years, there weren't too many of them that didn't have something different about them. Was it just a melting pot of throwbacks that couldn't make it in the larger school systems or is it as I get older I realize how complicated people's lives really are? I don't remember too many ill effects that they had on me over the years. I may not be the writer that my husband is but regardless of my English teachers, I may not have been a writer anyway.....

Signed..... Mrs. Montana Conservative

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