Saturday, May 07, 2005

What's Good for the Goose...

My homeroom teacher in sixth grade was Mrs. Walton. She was a Math teacher. Taught six periods of Math -- nothing more, nothing less. That was back in almost 30 years ago. The name of the school was Baker-Koonce. She doesn't teach anymore, so you can't really go to her classroom to visit and confirm it for yourself, but anyone who was there at the time would tell you that was how it was. Check out the yearbook...ask my classmates...

A few years later I realized that while I was good at math, I really excelled in English and Language Arts. That's where my passion was...where I really understood what was going on...where my heart was.

I continued to make good grades in math, but my efforts and my energy were spent on poetry, and literature, and diagramming sentences...grammar. Math just really didn't do it for me anymore. The thought of proofs and equations and formulas didn't motivate me...they didn't resonate with my soul. They were not part of the fabric of who I am.

I loved my ninth grade English teacher (eventually...even after she called me caustic and facetious)...and met the challenges of my subsequent English teachers with ferve and enthusiasm. In fact, I went on to major in areas of communication with a minor in English. I simply couldn't get enough of it.

I think of all the people who shaped my life...who gave me the freedoms to explore Language Arts and to pursue that as an interest and as a career. I remember Mrs. Milam in the fourth grade...Mrs Williams in the 7th and 8th professors in college. And I look back with special fondness to how Mrs Walton launched all that for me...she was a Language Arts teacher after all.

What? It works for our society in America, but I can't apply it to my own life? I don't happen to like the facts and they aren't convenient, so I have changed them to fit my current viewpoint. She taught math, but doesn't fit in nicely to my story about Language Arts...she had to use words to describe math...and she insisted that we write our "math sentences" that's akin to Language Arts. She wasn't really a math teacher...that was just her forum to express her language curriculum.

If it works for the USA, then it works for me.


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