Lessons learned from English teacher:
- Do not tempt your English teacher (who was a bulldog and the boys' high school basketball coach) if you were not prepared to answer in debate. He knew his stuff. His reputation both on and off court was something to be feared. Clearly he had a passion for both.
- Push yourself. You know more than you think you know. Let the learning sink in and then find ways to apply it. I never understood the "reading aloud" thing in school, but for no other reason than to keep us awake with fear we might be called next. However, it gave me courage to speak up, even if only in prose and through the written word of some fabulous historical writers. One of my favorite books was Don Quixote; and the character he adored, Dulcinea, resonated with me in a mysteriously unclear way that year. [So much so that the name I had engraved on my senior yearbook was Dulcinea, not my own. Perhaps more on that in a future post.]
- While pushing yourself, keep lesson #1 in mind. Do not leave class early, even two minutes, to get your band instrument if you failed to bring the proper pass. This is the one and only time I was suspended. Yes, really. It turned out okay in the end ~ the next day when I was called to the Principal's office and told the news, I called my Mom and we had lunch and went shopping for the day. I believe this was my senior year in high school. I had never, I mean NEVER, gotten in trouble. At the time it was something to laugh about, heck, it still is... and I now have a story to tell my children about the day I was suspended from class.
- It's okay to dream. Embrace your inner-Freud and follow the desires of your unconscious mind. There are reasons behind your psychosis. In your quest to find out why you exist and who you will become in this world, it will take some deep digging into self-understanding, social upbringing and uncontrolled circumstances be damned. And the hard truth to swallow is, the why & who will never fully be defined. Keep learning, searching & dreaming.
- Even if you feel that no one else believes in you, your ability to define yourself in these formative years will be what carries you through the turbulence of young adolescence. Your teacher believes in you. He knows that your mind is thirsty for knowledge and it his daily quest to see you drink from that cup of education. Who better to have on your side than a psychology teacher?
- Writing and lessons learned in English come in handy when having to create papers of self-analysis. You may not always agree with the forefathers of the mind, but there is certainly enough fodder for consideration that defining your dreams of who you will become as a young adult becomes a daily game of reinvention.
Today and every day, I am thankful for teachers.
May we never stop learning!