Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Forgotten Passion

Ever since I was a little girl I loved to write.  I think it started back in the third grade.  Our teacher would have us pick pictures from magazines and we would have to write a story about the picture.  I remember the first day we did this assignment, I was so scared.  I didn't know if I would be able to write about anything.  I looked at the picture I chose and all of a sudden I started to write a story.  It was fun! I looked forward to those days that we would pick our picture from that old cardboard box. 

I wish I had kept all my stories, as it would be wonderful to read what I was thinking back then.  It was so much fun sitting at my desk in my room creating magical plays and writing so many stories.  One of my dreams was that I was going to write a novel. 

However, in just one quick moment all those dreams would be taken away.  Why would I allow that to happen?  I had now been writing for a few years, I was no longer in the third grade, I was sitting in my 9th grade classroom.  

We were reading OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck.  Our assignment was to take the book home and finish reading the story and stop right before the last chapter.  We were not to read it, just close the book and write the last chapter ourselves.  I wasn't even intimidated about finishing John Steinbeck's story, it didn't even occur to me until now that I am writing this post!  I just remember being so excited to get started!

I did what I was told.  I sat and wrote what I thought should be the ending of this amazing book and the next day handed it in to my teacher. 

A few days later the teacher handed out the books to all of us and we were to read the last chapter silently.  As I was reading the ending my stomach began to knot up, I know I must have changed several shades of red.  I had written an ending almost word for word, identical to Mr. Steinbeck!  Instead of being proud and excited, I was sick as I knew I was now in trouble.  

To this day I remember that old desk that I sat at, the American Flag to the right of the chalkboard, the posters on the wall and even the aromas coming from the cafeteria, as it was soon going to be lunch.  My heart was pounding out of my chest.  I didn't know how I was going to explain this, no one was going to believe that I hadn't cheated.  

The teacher then said those dreaded and expected words, "Someone here decided not to follow directions and copied the last chapter of the book."  She also continued on with a long discussion about plagiarism.  

Inside my head I was screaming, "No, I didn't cheat, I swear, those were my words, I didn't read the last chapter!"  I knew no one would believe me, I just sat there speechless, sickened and sad.  I had never cheated or lied in my life and to be accused of something that I hadn't done was devastating.  

My dreams were stolen that day.  I never wrote again until now, almost 40 years later, as I write on this blog. Would I have written that novel by now if that hadn't happened?  I will never know. 

I chose this writer's prompt from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop, "If you had made a career out of whatever you were passionate about when you were ten...what would you be doing?"

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  1. So glad you've rediscovered your passion for writing. It's so sad when a teacher steals a student's dreams away. I'm sure she didn't even realize what kind of impact that would have.

  2. I know Grams! I decided after I turned 50 that I better stop carrying around that anchor! Thanks for stopping by!~Lisa

  3. What a beautiful post! I too used to love to write and miss it dearly. I wrote about the same thing for today's Workshp and actually forgot to include writing. How sad!

  4. Thank you for sharing that. If writing is your passion then you should go for it. Give it a shot it will make you happy and who knows just how many people you words may affect.

    Stopping by from Mamakats

  5. Ugh! That's really sad!

    Go out and live your dreams!

  6. It's never too late to follow your dream-and you have experience and wisdom now that you didn't have then. There will be people who will benefit from what you have to say.
    And shame, shame, shame on that teacher for assuming the worst without letting you explain!!

  7. I was fortunate that between my parents, grandparents and sister, most of the stuff I wrote when I was young is in someone's filing cabinet. Sadly, my ex made it so unpleasant for me to write that I stopped for almost 10 years. Never, never let someone remove the joy you find in writing - or anything for that matter.

  8. School was the worst! I got blamed for all kinds of things I didn't do :( I'm glad that you are writing again! Thanks for visiting my blog today!

  9. OH, how heartbreaking! I am so so glad that you are finally allowing yourself to follow your dream, because you're a wonderful writer, the emotion in this post was so evident!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier! I will be back to read more! ;-)

  10. That is so sad! Teachers can really make an impression on kids and not always in a good way. You are a terrific writer so keep going and don't ever stop.
    It Should Have Been Me

  11. I did stop too.I found myself back into writing though.I can't resist it!

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  13. Lisa, sorry for that earlier post which I deleted. Something weird was going on w/ my computer and I could not see any of the type at all. It was a mess! Into the trash it went! That teacher did a horrible thing to you that day and that's an understatement. I hope you will continue to create and remember all that you love about it! Your post was very powerful.
    P.S.! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  14. That was a horrible story and it happened to you at such a young age that it really had an effect on you. I am glad you have come back to it.

  15. that was a little freaky coincidence, lol!

  16. Hi Angie, Yes it seems that the majority of people chose that prompt along with the bad hair day! Thanks for stopping in. ~Lisa

  17. Hi Legalmel, You are welcome, I have been wanting to write about it and saw the prompt so decided that this was the best time to do so!

  18. Yes Miss Angie! I plan to do that!! Everyone should!~Lisa

  19. I know Valerie, Sadly I think that may have been the response of many of us. Always assuming the worse!

  20. Hi Naimhe,
    That is wonderful that they have saved all of your work. I know why do we allow others to control our lives?

  21. Hi Harter, Same here, thank you for stopping by.

  22. Karina, That was so nice of you to say. It is never too late!

    Senora G, you are always so sweet, I never think of myself as a terrific writer!

    Lady in purple, I am glad you came back to do what you love, it is so important!

    Fiddlersbride, No worries about your post, thank you for your nice comment and for stopping in.

    Emily, I don't think we realize what things effect us at such a young age. I am glad I am back too!

    Hi Kim! Yes, strange coincidence for sure!

  23. Unfortunately teachers make judgments about students, often without understanding the full impact they can have on impressionable students.

    When I was in 10th grade honors English, we had to choose a poet to study for a report. I chose Emily Dickinson. The teacher actually told me, in front of the class, that I wasn't smart enough to write about Dickinson. I did anyway, and got a B. Spiteful, mean teacher.

  24. Great blog! Congrats.. on the new/old found passion. Doing great!

  25. I think I was in the 4th grade when that happened to me but the teacher read a story to us and we were never allowed to see it. I was amazed at how right on I was with the ending.
    It is sad that some people accuse instead of ask questions.
    I'm glad your writing again.


Not what we give,
But what we share,
For the gift
without the giver
Is bare.
~James Russell Lowell

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