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Prompted By Teachers & Mentors

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Susan B Coombs Jr. High School. Seventh Grade. Miss Davies. Homeroom.

We were given a woodcut/Rorschach image to view, then write a poem.

I don’t remember the poem. But Miss Davies told the class that we had a fine writer and poet in our class, then read my poem. My ears blazed. I felt like crawling under my desk–I didn’t know how to take a compliment, but I was good at shame.

Still, she gave me the right to tell stories. She made me legitimate in public. I started telling jokes among friends, relating incidents, recapping a TV show. Even when my friends said that something I said was stupid, I had Miss Davies’ declaration. I believed it. I wish I could find her, so I could tell her how much she meant to me.

A couple weeks later, I lost control of a giant fart in class. It took a long time to live that one down. But I’m still a writer.

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Characterizations: funny, right on!


  1. John Zussman says:

    In just a few words, your story captures a moment that truly changed your life. And I love the way you fill out the story with the fart incident. A very human story and a very special teacher.

  2. Betsy Pfau says:

    She truly did change your life, for you have become a wonderful writer, both in professional and personal life. You are an inspiration for me.

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