It’s the first day of school for many of my nieces and nephews. A day that they have dreaded for curbing their summer and shackling them to the desk of education (mmmm, shackled to a desk – I would know nothing about that). On the other hand, parents are celebrating the return to structure and school buses.
I won’t tell you how long it’s been since I graced the halls of my formative education – it’s a scary thought. I will tell you that the seeds of my love of reading and writing were born during that time.
I’ve mentioned before that my parents were avid readers and expected no less of their children. If wars were to be fought, books were the prize. In fact, I had a sibling who had the bad habit of inscribing their name on every book that fell into her possession, whether it was theirs or not.
We lived out in the sticks, lots of land to run about and explore. My favorite place was our basement full of books.
The librarians of my elementary, middle and high schools loved me, they knew that I would check out books that were beyond my assignments. I have to give a shout out to Mrs. Ponce, my elementary school librarian. She turned me on to the classic stories, introduced me to the operatic stylings of Wagner, and made sure that my young mind was always engaged.
Mrs. Prince, my middle school English teacher, made it clear that the world was a story waiting to be told. My story telling skills were less than stellar at the tender age of 12, but that didn’t matter. I was telling stories.
Mr. Godwin, of the dreaded high school years, was my international history teacher. He made history come alive, spurring my imagination on about the world and world that could be.
While I miss having my summers off, I’m grateful to the teachers who pushed me, encouraged me and helped me become the person I am today. Will my name ring a bell if they see my name on a bookstore shelf? Maybe not, but they made an impression on me.