Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Very First Fan

My older daughter will be starting school soon and we’re looking at getting her into one of the local public charter schools that is being built near our house. In seeking more information, I went to the school district website and started digging.

This is where I stumbled across a familiar name: my 8th grade English teacher. But his name could be common, so I sent him an email, asking if this gentleman was one in the same. In a reply later that evening, he confirmed, indeed, he was.

Mind you, I don’t remember a whole heckuva lot from middle school: I rode the bus along with 95% of the other kids, the school was really old and I swear it was haunted, we all had our own lockers and I actually fit inside of mine, and 8th grade English.

You see, I had this dream, I still sort of remember it, about some famous dude (he was at the time anyway) and it was one of those typical girl-has-a-celebrity-crush sorta dreams, so dude always fell into my dreams, but this one was long. And it had a whole plot and all this stuff happened and was so vivid I had to write it down. Hence, the first time I ever really really wrote. And boy, did I write. Notebooks upon notebooks upon notebooks. People passed them around school, I became “the girl who is always writing” (and only slightly am I embellishing), but you get the idea. And in all this, there was 1 person who did not think I had gone completely crazy: Mr. G, my 8th grade English teacher.

Mr. G was the 1 person who was 100% supportive of my writing (as lame as I realize the story was now), he never said anything derogatory about my sudden passion. He never hindered my creativity. He even gave me extra time to write in class when everyone else had to read their “free reading” book of the week.

Because of Mr. G, I discovered something about myself I never knew before: There was a reason I had such an overactive imagination, a reason I had such a love for books and the written word. My parents immigrated to the United States just before I was born, so they were not exactly great with the English language (and it is a really hard language to learn as an adult), but my father especially, always supported my love of books. But I was relegated to reading them to myself because of my parents’ limited abilities at the time. If it weren’t for Mr. G, I probably never would have figured out that the written word is part of who I am.

It has been a lot of years and a lot of things have changed. The words were put aside for a long time, but with their rediscovery, I am taking it as a sign that I have found myself an opportunity to reach out to my first supporter, my very first “fan.”

So basically, what I’m saying is: Thanks, Mr. G – you have no idea how much you changed my life.


Angie said...

That's a great story. Hooray for supportive teachers! I remember my Jr. High and High School English teachers with great fondness, too. Actually, my Jr. High English teacher happened to be Mom's best friend, and she's going to read my novel soon.

ElanaJ said...

I never wanted to write. So I'm glad your 8th grade teacher encouraged you. Teachers are pretty awesome sometimes. ;)

Anonymous said...

What a great story! I wonder if teachers have any idea of the impact their words can have on students -- I'm sure they do, right??? Those ones who set us on positive paths ... they literally create futures with just a few simple words. Did you tell Mr. G. this story?