[dropcap]W[/dropcap]riting. I was never very good at it.
I was too slow.
In third grade, Miss Williams told us to write an essay. The topic could be whatever we wanted. I wrote an articulate piece regarding Batman’s struggle with mediocrity. It took me half the night. Miss Williams didn’t find my argument convincing.
She gave me a D.
Fourth grade. Mrs. Everhardt assigned an essay about our favorite foods. I wrote a stunning soliloquy on the rise and fall of the modern biscuit. It was subtitled: Pilsbury Killed the American Housewife. It took a week to write. I got another D. She suggested I write with fewer commas.
But, that, was, so, hard, to, do.
Fifth grade. Mrs. Bruner despised me from the get go. She told us to write about pioneers in America. She was not impressed with my paper, Ernie Banks; Pioneer Short Stop Who Changed the World. I received an F. She told me I was fool-headed for writing about baseball.
I’ll never forget that word.
Then came sixth grade, that was my year. Mrs. Doerkson believed in me. She knew how to reach a slow student like me. I was the only student she assigned one hundred word compositions to. Every day. Weekends too. Whatever I wanted to write about. Even baseball. Then she’d correct my grammar and pin my stories to her wall. It wasn’t schoolwork, it was her gift to me.
That sweet woman told me I was special.
And I half believed her.