Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Origin of the Species

Me on my second birthday

I know I always loved books (aren’t I adorable and oh, so, happy?) I remember writing before the age of ten, but I started thinking of myself as a storyteller in the sixth grade.

Fifth grade had been traumatic and chaotic. As a newbie in an already begun school year, I floundered. The teacher had no control over the classroom (he took a "vacation" after Thanksgiving.) Mean girls picked on me. Valentine’s Day and Christmas were horrors of no cards and no gifts during the exchanges. I hid in the coatroom any chance I got.
Sixth grade at Garfield East Elementary renewed my love of school. Mrs. Block was paradise. She knew what she was doing. She kept us in order, taught us the basics and gave us a social studies assignment that I’ve never forgotten.
We had to pick a place in the world and travel there (in our imaginations and through research.)
"Write a term paper about your visit," said Mrs. Block.
I chose Mexico City and I built a world inhabited by characters. I included timeline, budgets, descriptions of locations, weather, food. I wrote about the people I met and our conversations.
I got an A and the best compliment. “I feel like you were really there,” said Mrs. Block. “The details and your story made it all very real for me. It was a pleasure to read your paper.”
I fell, hook, line and narrative.

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