By Ahmad Jenkins
It was in the 6th grade I had my most inspiring teacher who helped place in my heart a love for reading and writing, Mrs. Stanton. I loved the way she encouraged, not only myself, but all of my fellow classmates to make reading into more than just an exercise; but the opportunity to use our imaginations to their highest possible extent. What sticks out most for me is one particular project we had reading ‘The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe’.
Each one of us took a turn reading a portion of the book everyday until it was done. We discussed it, and gave our ideas of what might happen next. When we had finished the book, Mrs. Stanton encouraged us to write a story of our own. Using our imaginations much the same way as C. S. Lewis did to come up with our own adventure set down on paper. I enjoyed every moment of it, and when it came time to read it in front of the class … I was too shy. Sure, I put everything I had into the story I created, even drew a picture. Yet, fear kept me from presenting it to my newfound audience.
Mrs. Stanton being understanding, read it for me and when she was done she said something that has always been a part of me: “That was great, you could be a great author one day!”. No matter what job I’ve ever had, or type of career I’ve ever pursued. The passion to write, to express myself by using words we take for granted everyday; and inspire, entertain and inform; started with someone’s acknowledgement that I could do something with my interests when I put my mind to it.
So I guess in a way this is for every writer, parent, educator … You may know a child who has the same interest that brought you to your career field. When they accomplish something they worked hard at. Encourage them by saying: ‘That was a great job you’d make a great author one day.’, (or what have you…) it could be the advice that helps them achieve their dream.