High School English

High school was not an easy time for me. Years of awkward insecurity tangled with grief and depression made for not a happy school girl.

My one salvation was writing. It felt that is was the one thing I was able to do just a little better than everyone else. There were two amazing English teachers that helped me develop my tool and inspire a lifetime love of words.

Sadly, I cannot recall my first English teachers name and my yearbooks were all destroyed in a flood in the early 1990’s – losing the messages from my teachers was a crushing loss. But, I digress.

My first high school English teacher. I remember patience and nurturing but also tough fairness, challenging me to do better, think deeper, express more richly. I wrote a poem about my Grandmothers battle with cancer and another poem about a book we were reading in class (cannot remember the title now). In the poem about the book I used the word “Damn” to describe a flower that mocked a child with its beauty. When she read the poem (remember this was the 80’s) to the class there were lots of shocked stares and even a few “she is in SOOO much trouble” comments made. The teacher let the shock flow through the room and them complimented my writing, explaining that even curse words can have a valuable effect when used artistically and not just placed for shock value. She ended up submitting that work to an English journal for publication and it was selected. My first and only published work. One of my most proud memories.

Afterward, fellow class-mates began to solicit me to write love letters, poems, even song lyrics. I’d found my niche’. In that moment in her class, behind the glowing red embarrassment, a passion was born inside me that has never stopped. And I doubt it ever will. For that I am grateful beyond words. Even the wordiest of us know that sometimes you just have to keep it simple and say Thank You!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Never Too Late.”


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