Favoritism

Posted On November 17, 2008

Filed under life, self, The Spin Cycle

Comments Dropped 8 responses

This weeks spin cycle assignment is to go through our archives and find our favorite post.  Then repost it for the world to see.  I decided to repost this one because I feel it helps explains why I write.  It is my third ever post.   So, I don’t think I had quite found my voice again yet, but it is in there lurking about in the shadows.
Second Chances

For many years, I wrote daily. I wrote stories, poems, books and anything else you can write. I use to have multiple notebooks and journals laying about. They were unfinished works or my writer’s journals with ideas and random thoughts. I can’t remember when I stopped writing. It was somewhere in between college, bills, failed relationships and new jobs. I can’t even remember if I meant to start again. Instead of trying to remember when it all fell apart, I will write about the time I almost gave up for good.

In high school, it was my dream to one day be a journalist. I was editor of the school paper in my senior year. I had some of the most read articles and my name in print all of the time. So, when the assignment for interviewing the new teacher at our school came up, I was the most obvious choice for reporters.

I set the day for the interview and had all of my questions ready. I wanted to know what she did before she was a teacher and how she decided to become a high school teacher. As it turns out, even though she looked quite young, she did a lot before she went back to school for a teaching degree. She served in the Air Force and worked in several law offices as a paralegal. At the end of the interview, she said “Please don’t include the stuff before I went back to college, I don’t want everyone to know how old I am.” Though the request seemed a little unreasonable to me, I honored it and wrote my article about everything she did from college and beyond. I turned in what I thought was a well written and respectful article.

My journalism teacher knew that there was more to the story than what I wrote. She demanded to know why I left out all of the details about the new teacher’s past. When I stated that it was because she asked me too, she gave me a choice. Rewrite the article or get a failing grade on the assignment and someone else would take my notes and write the article. I was terrified of failing an assignment. Up until this point, I had always gotten A’s in any writing class I took. So, I re-wrote the article. I still regret doing it.

Two days later, the paper came out. The new teacher stopped me in the hall way. She was in tears, “Why did you include all of that stuff I asked you not too?” I stammered, “My teacher said that if I didn’t, she would give me a bad grade.” We never spoke after that day. I stopped writing for a while after that. I took easy jobs, like the sports score board and general announcements. Finally, my journalist teacher asked me why I stopped writing the top stories. I told her, “I feel terrible about what I did to the new teacher and I don’t want my words to hurt anyone.” She looked at me disappointed, “I guess you aren’t cut out to be a journalist after all.” I smiled, “No, I guess not.” I started writing again after that but mostly about world news, things that didn’t really matter to many teenagers.

I continued to write stories and creative works well into college. Until now, I never even tried writting about my favorite topic: real life. But this blog is my second chance. Its my second chance to write about things that matter and to make a small difference, if only in my own life. I still vow to never hurt anyone with my written word. But, this is my chance to do it right.

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8 Responses to “Favoritism”

  1. Sprite's Keeper

    Great post and a good reminder of what keeps us from obtaining our dreams. I wanted to be an FBI agent until 9/11 and the fear of risking my life rushed from the back of my mind to the forefront, stopping me from going foreward.
    You’re linked!

  2. goodfather

    WOW! Great, great post. It’s so hard to take the ‘high road’ sometimes – I couldn’t be a journalist either, heh. I love your writing.

  3. HeatherPride

    Man!! I am especially ticked off now about this whole situation! What do you suppose was really going on here? Was your J-teacher always this nasty? Or do you think she had it out for the new teacher? What a terrible place to put a student in. I’m sorry for the young wicked stepmom. It reminds me of when I was in junior high, and my art teacher told me I didn’t have any talent. It took me 20 years to pick up a paintbrush again! Now I have huge murals on both my kids’ walls.

    Keep writing. You have a great knack for it.

  4. steenky bee

    Wow, this post caused me to lose my breath. You were taken advantage of. How horrible. But you know, I’m so glad you’re writing. Maybe you needed this to happen, I don’t know. I think your writing is wonderful and I’m so glad you’re giving it another go. Keep going. Whatever you do, just keep going.

  5. Tricia

    I REMEMBER this post, and I remember my comment. I think I was projecting. I don’t know how we can write with honesty, about things we care about, and not hurt someone along the way, it’s terribly difficult, if even possible. We all walk a fine line, and I’m so glad you’re walking and writing again!!

  6. jen

    ugh.
    that makes me want to find them and give them a piece of my mind!
    i cannot believe that a teacher would put someone (especially a young person) in that position.
    irregardless…
    i’m glad that you are finding your voice again. writing is very therapeutic. words are important and meaningful … and i think you learned that very early on.

  7. Laufa

    That Journalist teach was a horrible role model for a teenager. Maybe you can write all the good things about that new teacher and send it to her in the mail – if you can track her down. Keep writing!!

  8. Kristan

    A good post, but I have to admit, I can understand your journalism teacher’s point of view. Granted, on a student paper, it shouldn’t matter so much…

    I also understand your desire not to hurt anyone with your words, but I caution you that that may be nearly impossible. Noble, but nearly impossible.

    Of course, as an undying optimist, I will also say that just because something is nearly impossible doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t try. 🙂

    So try your best, but also don’t beat yourself up too bad if someone accidentally gets hurt. Just do your best to make it better and/or avoid it in the future.

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