While filing, I came across old personal essays, poetry, and other writings from my school years. It was interesting, going through and reading everything. I’d forgotten about much of it, and was actually surprised I had kept these things for so long. I wish I’d kept everything I’d ever written.
Many, but not all, of the essays I wrote were for Mrs. Baker’s English class in night school. I remember telling my sisters after class that first night that I didn’t think I was going to like Mrs. Baker because that night she had made it sternly clear that we were there taking up her time because we hadn’t done what we were supposed to during the day, and she was not going to be lenient in any way. She was stern. I thought at the time, rude.
As it turns out she was one of my all-time favorite teachers. Her attitude was toward the high school age students who had been put there because they didn’t want to do what they had to do during the day, not toward adults who had decided to go back to school to finish what they couldn’t finish before – for whatever reason.
During the second class she realized I was not one of those high school students, and her attitude toward me changed. I asked if we were going to do any actual writing and she told me no but if I wanted to I could write whatever I wanted for extra credit. So I did. Personal essays made up the bulk of what I wrote.
I wrote essays on subjects such as what the holidays meant to me, and my mother and mother-in-law, and she loved it. Rereading some of them now brings a tear to my eye.
When she decided on the date and time for the finals, it was during a time when I would not have a babysitter. I went to her and explained the situation, and she suggested I bring my young daughters with me. I did, and they loved her. Mrs. Baker sat them down with paper and markers so they could draw while we all took our tests. She checked on them and chatted with them, then she offered the three of us a ride home after class. I remember that she said she couldn’t stand country music, so would I mind metal or rock. Well, of course I wouldn’t mind, LOL.
She loved my essays and told me I should be a writer. I passed her class with a 99 because she did not believe in handing out 100’s.
A couple of the essays I found were written when my daughters were teenagers.