Jan 31 – The Professor

Mr. E taught my 11th Grade English class. It was strange to me at first because he was an art teacher and I felt like Art and English were from two very separate worlds. He, however, taught me to see in the art in words and to use those words to make art in the world around us. As an artist, he was passionate and free-spirited and often we found that our classes consisted of tangents and rabbit trails. We could never simply read something, we needed to visualize it, to feel it. He pushed us to be creative and to stretch the way we thought about English. I was challenged to see English not just as a way to speak and communicate, but as a way to create and express. One day Mr. E asked us to pick something in modern-day society that bothered us and to write a paragraph about. Once those were written, he had us turn our paragraphic rants into poems that articulated how we felt about certain issues. I picked a rather controversial and sensitive issue and, when I thought I would be berated for my point of view, I was applauded for having my own opinion and for stating it publicly in an unabashed way. I was shown that it’s important to believe in the things you say and write and that, if you don’t believe in them, you shouldn’t write words. I never knew, at the age of 15, in my English 11 class, that a mere 4 years later I would develop a passion for writing and the English language. I never had intentions of writing, and I know I am still nowhere near as refined as I would one day like to be. But, just as Mr. E taught me, I have words to write and I believe in them, therefore, I will share them.

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