I first learned of my gift for storytelling in high school. Though admittedly, I suffered through most of my studies an average student on paper, who was, however, fortunate to be smart enough to sufficiently pass tests without ever opening a book at home – not a habit I plan to let my children adopt, but one that seemed to work for me at the time. Though I did make two exceptions to my not-opening-a-book-at-home rule. The first, any and all history books – U.S., World, European … those books I opened. Not because I was afraid I wouldn’t pass the course if I didn’t read my assignments, but because history itself fascinated me. Especially the accounts of times gone by that read like fiction, but weren’t …
And I also read, in their entirety, every single book that was required reading for my A.P. English class. And it was in that small classroom, in the north wing of my high school, where I flourished, plodding my way through the likes of Steinbeck, Dickens and Bronte. It’s where I fell in love with Conrad and Flaubert. Where I became enthralled with Homer and Tolstoy. Where I learned I didn’t care for Hemingway or Bradbury. Where I learned that I could adore Fitzgerald’s Gatsby and a few weeks later be bored stiff by his other works. And, it’s where I learned that I could write words to make people understand – and to take them down the road I wished them to go.
But more than remember what I learned, or even wished I’d learned back then, sometimes I think about those past teachers – not all of them, but some. And I wonder about their lives now and then. What did they do when they weren’t at school? Did they have families? What were their hobbies? Did they like teaching? Were they happy? I wouldn’t have known any of those things back then … but I wonder, if I would have known, would I have thought differently about any of them? Had more respect? Less respect? One things for sure, to this day there are a few that I will always pay homage to for installing in me the craving for knowledge – because it’s only with knowledge that one can dream of all that’s possible in this life … and for that, I am thankful.
Today’s Post inspired by, The Land of Confusion – “Which subject in school did you find impossible to master?” Oh, so to answer that question outright … none. But I’ve still not really mastered anything yet either.