Monday, April 29, 2013

So, I Had This English Teacher Once

Everybody has that one person who has impacted their life.

Coming out of eighth grade, I was a fan of literature. I was especially a fan of writing. I was used to the typical, five-paragraph essay structure. I remember reading To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It remains my favorite book to this day. Suffice it to say that as I grew older, the more intense my love for the art of words became.

As eighth grade came to a close, the ever-so-terrifying thought of venturing into high school began to follow me everywhere. I had heard of this woman who took her literature class very seriously. Rumor had it that when you stepped into her classroom, you had better been prepared to not only learn literature, but to explore literature to the fullest extent.

High school literature was far, far different than junior high literature. The rumors were true. Unfortunately, I hadn't taken the appropriate measures to prepare myself for this (then) revolutionary idea of exploring literature.

The first essay I turned in came back with more green ink on it than it did black ink. So many corrections. That's when I realized that I had no knowledge of how to properly punctuate. That's when I realized that all of my deep intellectual thoughts of junior high were not deep and intellectual at all. I realized that I would no longer be praised for my thoroughly unimpressive ability to construct a sensible sentence. This was going to be a challenge, one that did not end until the day my favorite teacher of all time retired.

My love for literature was merely conceived in junior high school. My love for literature was born the first day I stepped into Mrs. Abby Johnson's classroom.

I learned how to analyze literature.

I learned how to actually think about what the author was intending to accomplish.

I learned how to love literature.

The reason I'm writing about my favorite teacher is because it was around this time last year when I received an e-mail that made me tear my polo shirt as a sign of mourning. It was around this time last year that I learned that my favorite teacher was calling it quits. It was around this time last year that I, along with my classmates, staged a silent protest in a last-ditch effort to keep Mrs. Johnson around for at least two more years. It was this time last year when all of the future attendees at the CYHSB would no longer have the honor of having Mrs. Johnson as their teacher.

It's quite rare to have somebody come along and change your life.

Mrs. Johnson changed my life. She inspired me to use words to express my thoughts. She taught me how to appreciate literature.

She taught me how to love the depressing recluse, Emily Dickinson.

Mrs. Johnson is one of those people who you won't forget for the rest of your life. I'm truly appreciative of the impact she has made on my life and I hope that I choose the correct road in a yellow wood that may, someday, lead me back into her classroom.

1 comment:

  1. I don't want to be that stalker person who is awkwardly the only one who ever comments, but..
    Yay MJ and yay Dickinson. That is all. k.