Friday, May 18, 2012

I Asked for a Compliment and Gained Inspiration

A young man I taught in the early 1990s at G. W. Carver Middle School joined my Facebook network this week. I remember how quiet he was and how interesting his writing was. He sent me a message that included something about me being a good influence on him in life. I asked him what every warm-blooded, compliment-seeking human being would.

In what way was I a good influence?

He answered, "How have you influenced me you ask? Well mainly you encouraged me to write and gave me confidence in my abilities. Though not as often as in school, I continue to write when the mood strikes me. My writing may never be seen, but just getting my thoughts on paper is somehow therapeutic. I think mainly you gave me an outlet and during a time I hardly spoke, that's a lot. After that I always liked English and excelled at it. 

In the past decade I thought why not try another language? So I decided on Creek or Muscogee, whichever, you prefer to call it. I'm in no way fluent as I seldom get the opportunity to speak it. However, I can read and write the alphabet so as long as I have my dictionary I can practice. In the past I held language classes so that I could speak and practice. Of course I seldom broadcasted that info. I thought that a teacher who has students to keep himself from getting rusty didn't inspire much confidence. 

Anyway, all of this had an unfortunate side effect I sometimes catch myself writing English in muscogee and vice-versa. It leads to a lot of typos that drive me crazy. I can give both direct and indirect credit to you on all of this. Just thinking does that mean you're in some strange way responsible for my typos? lol. But I'll keep in touch, you do the same. Oh Thank You!"

Living is not in vain. Teaching is a valuable effort. I am relieved and inspired again. Maybe you, too?

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