Saturday, September 08, 2007

Sunday Scribblings

Writing

I never was a good student. During grammar school I had the misfortune of having two exceptional and amazing scholars in my class and try as I may, I never could get the best of them. Since the class size was only 12 students and for the most part remained so for the eight years, I believe this microcosm twisted my view of the real world. Therefore, I never gave much effort to excel. In my small private high school (once again, I was one student in a class of only 120) I found myself thrust among four Merit Scholarship Finalists. I was already well on the path that if I could not be Top Dog (though back then, Top Cat would be more apropos)then I was not going to try very hard.

Home work was completed during Home Room and study hall. If I had not studied enough for a History or Social Studies class, I faked an illness. I had to have an algebra tutor. I copied my Latin assignments from my BFF Laura. In other words, I was a nightmare for teachers. Not that different from the majority of my classmates.

There are certain moments of High School I remember. Tiny vignettes of people and place. Smoking in the bathroom, skipping classes and getting caught, detention class after school, riding the bus to downtown where I would have to ride the Greyhound Bus the last 12 miles home, being on a panel with Jose discussing transcendental philosophy, Latin class with Father S. who drove a Hot Rod and was very handsome and all of us girls shook our heads at the waste, the nun who was the librarian we called Rat, decorating homeroom doors, having the biggest crush in the history of crushes on the Dog.

The most vivid still holds certain emotions that are stirred. In Junior Year I found myself in a creative writing class. For perhaps the first and only time in the four years of my high school experience, I gave it my all. I was inspired by something that has happened to someone I knew that summer. I took his reality and experience and gave it the voice of a 12 year old girl.

Mrs. F sat at her desk and began to read the best of our efforts. She read two of them and paused before beginning the third and final. The best of the best.

I began to hear my words being read aloud by someone else. "It happened this summer, when the days were becoming so hot the tar was bubbling on the road......"

I was terrified and shamed for some unexplained reason. In my totally freaked out state I tried to glance around the class room. Mrs. F. had every ones attention. Hanging on her words, my words. And at the end, my pal Bonnie was crying.

Crying.

"I'm going to be a writer" I vowed to myself.

Thirty some odd years later I sit here at my key board and wonder if....if I had pursued a writing career. If I had taken my life a little bit seriously, not a lot, just a little and talked to someone. Maybe someone then would have directed me towards journalism.

Instead, here I sit, still slightly terrified at people reading what I write.

14 comments:

Nelle said...

Your entries are always a delight to read and I think you have a talent. I always loved to write too. I once composed a book of original stories in fourth grade but my mother threw it out when she cleaned my room for a move. I still enjoy reading but now I do it for my own pleasure.

Robbie said...

I love this!!!!

I wish every young person ever in existence had someone to guide them and cheer them on to their true identity. Alas, life is not like that but here's to all of us finding it in one form or another as you did with blogging!!!

P.S. Share the story of the days that were so hot!

meno said...

I wish you still had that essay and could let us read it.

GreenishLady said...

And now, you are a writer. I so enjoyed reading this.

Jo said...

Of course you're a writer. I liked this very much (and it was a similar take to my own reaction to this prompt).

Becky said...

Now that's wild... Change a few minor details and I could post this entry for ME. Talk about parallel lives. :-) My special teacher/class was in 8th grade, but small private schools, no incentive or desire to apply myself, coasting through my days... yep. And then that magical class that made me want to be a writer. I even majored in English in college, but my parents weren't happy with that. It was a "waste of a degree" unless I planned to teach. @@ Says the mother who majored in Home Econ and was going for her MRS. degree. I could babble on, but I could do that on my own blog. ;-) Thanks for bringing back memories of my high school years.

Lisa :-] said...

But that's what's so great about this medium. You ARE a writer, and we ARE reading and enjoying what you write. You just didn't have to jump through all those "getting published" hoops that only a few of the most fortunate manage to master. Ain't it grand?

gautami tripathy said...

THat's what holds us back. What others think. Why? What we think matters. Not what others think. I always tell mystudents to give their best.

I like what you write.

Chris said...

I think your writing rocks still! You haven't lost it. And from what I gather from others, it's not too late to start.

I used to want to be a writer growing up. My dream just faded away, disappearing the in mist of day to day life. I wonder if I found it, could I dust it off, polish it up, and use it once again? Sigh

mamacita chilena said...

Just after reading your blog I think you're a fantastic writer. Why is it too lot to become what you've always wanted to be?

tumblewords said...

It's never too late. I began writing less than a decade ago when more than half a century had escaped without my putting pen to paper. Thought provoking post!

mist1 said...

Writing is one of those rare things that you can just jump in at any time. You can write in spurts and still feel the same passion and energy each time.

It's not like brain surgery in that way. I mean, it's much more difficult to pick up the scalpel and start cutting than it is to find a pen and write.

I suppose that's why I prefer to write over performing surgery. Also, there's less blood.

lisrobbe said...

I enjoyed your post. Keep writing as you are talented at it.

Anonymous said...

It's not to late you know. Books are published every day, people continue to buy books. You DO have a talent.

Monica