Monday, February 22, 2010

God Bless good teachers

Please note: I was cleaning out my inbox the other day when I couldn't sleep. Yes, I took a nap on my brand new mattress, and paid the price until 2:30 a.m. I ran across a little story I wrote for a contest by Debbie Mumm back in 2004 about women that inspired us creatively.

I choose to write about my 4th grade teacher, Miss Wilson.


The first woman that I ever loved who was not my own mother or grandmother, was Miss Wilson.

I came from a long line of creative women. My mother was a painter, my father's mother had her own ceramics shop and quilted, and my home is still filled with quilts that my mother's mother spent many hours creating. Not to mention the many aunts, cousins and sisters that have creative ventures of their own. I often laugh when I say, that I truly was in high school before I figured out that not all moms made their kids' clothes and fancy crocheted rugs for the bathroom.

None of those women were Miss Wilson.

Miss Wilson was my fourth grade teacher, and one of the few people in my lifetime that saw something in me, that I could not see for myself. At age 10, I was shy, quiet, not so popular and enough overweight to cause myself to be the butt of many jokes with the other kids. I was also very creative and an avid artist. If I was not reading, I was drawing, sewing or "creating" something out of my mind.


I can remember the way Miss Wilson treated me like it was yesterday. I have to say, that I don't remember a lot of things "like it was yesterday" anymore. Miss Wilson often pulled me away from the other children, because she saw something creative in me and wanted to help me shine. I admit, I was the teacher's pet - the only time in my life that happened for me. When there was a class project to be made, she challenged me and creating a more difficult project for different from the others and just for me. To this day, I love a challenge... don't tell me I can't, because I'll try harder. Miss Wilson gave that gift to me.

I remember the special origami birds that we made for Christmas. They were red, and mine were made from bright red, wide, paper ribbon. They were so special that my mother placed them high on the tree every year, and they still grace my tree today.


This was the beginning for me. This was the beginning of being an "artist".

Those little origami birds started it for me. I already loved my pads of paper, my pencils and the fancy pastels my mother bought me for Christmas, but the birds were something special. I had taken some simple strips of ribbon paper and created a 3d "scultpture". Paper took on a new meaning for me. It was no longer for just coloring, it could be anything. It wasn't a coloring book, it was a "medium" for expression. My lifelong obsession with paper, was beginning.

A friend and I used to always laugh about how much we loved the first day of school because of the new notebooks that we got for the first day. It was humorous enough to us, that we'd buy each other spiral notebooks as gifts.

Miss Wilson made me feel like I was indeed an creative being, and that I could create special things that other children could not. And I could! In return, the other children saw that in me too, and I became "the artist". I remember in junior high, wanting to make some pocket money for myself and to young to work at the ice cream shop or a restaurant. Instead, I started creating custom art pieces for my classmates selling them for $2.00 each.

Maybe, I might still be creative today without the influence of Miss Wilson... or maybe not. I do believe the path would have been much more difficult for me to discover had she not given me the confidence to try.

I still love Miss Wilson.


Funny note about this: When I wrote it in 2004, I had not seen Miss Wilson in around 20 years. Days after I wrote it, I ran into her at Wal-mart! Odd as that was at the moment, about 2 months ago, once again, I was thinking of Miss Wilson, and this very story about her. Lo and behold, about a week later, I ran into her at Wal-mart again!!

Maybe I just shop at Walmart too much!


Julie said...

Great post - for me it was Mrs. Rucker.

Enjoyed my visit to your blog!


Tina said...

I'm back! Love readiong your posts. I have set up a new blog and would love to have you as a follower. Keep up the great posts!!

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