My entry in patch challenge #5
G Schmit (GSchmit@AOL.COM)
Wed, 6 Dec 1995 21:47:30 -0500
Expectations were pretty well set for me before I hit my teen years. I'd
finish high school (maybe), get a farm job just like my step-father's, marry
the girl from the farm down the road, and work from dawn to dusk until my
hands were gnarled. School was a place to rest from the long hours of
milking cows and raising crops.
Eleventh grade English was much the same: a thick book and a woman teacher,
gray-haired but shorter than the previous ones. I took my usual seat in the
back near the windows so that I could hide and watch the clouds slide by.
She liked to talk; she talked about the characters as if they were her
friends. Stories became real, not just titles and authors to memorize for
some test. When we wrote about the stories, we "talked" to her. She liked
the way I worded some of my sentences; they seemed to have a nice rhythm and
float like clouds. She suggested I go to the library and get a book of
poetry. I went but couldn't find it; I had spelled Yeats "Yates." She
didn't laugh but said, "Never mind him."
She turned and walked to her glass-doored cabinet behind her desk, opened
it, selected a book, and handed it to me. I don't even remember the title,
but I do remember it was her book, and she trusted me with it. I read it
that night and returned it the next day; I didn't want anything to happen to
it. We talked briefly and she gave me another book from her cabinet. "Don't
rush," she said; "take time to enjoy it."
I did. I kept reading. I kept working. I was graduated from high school,
and with my limited savings, I thought I'd try a year of college before I
went back to the farm. One year became two, then three and four. Now I
teach. English, too, because I still love to read. I stock my room with
books, and I encourage my students to take them to read. I tell them, "when
you finish, bring it back; if you can't bring it back, pass it on to someone
who would like to read it."
YiS, George GSchmit@AOL.COM
ASM, Trp 18 Cazenovia, NY 13035-9418
... and thanks for all those great addresses and phone numbers for
Haliburton; Layton, Utah; and northeast Pennsylvania. I knew I could count
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City