A Fabulous Lesson


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Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.
Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience, or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 


 Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn’t around anymore? Anyone you miss?


Because writing has been a “back burner” kind of thing most of my adult life, I’ve never had a writing mentor. I took a basic composition class in college, but I don’t remember anything specific that I learned in the class. (As they say, I’ve slept since then.) The thing I remember most is the teacher declaring “You’re just scared we’ll dig up FDR and he’ll win again.” Funny, but it doesn’t contribute to my writing.

The memories from my high school Rhetoric class are more vivid because there were a whole lot of “You’re taking Rhetoric? Are you crazy?” comments from my friends. Due to extreme lack of interest, the class wasn’t even offered every semester. My counselor was somehow involved in getting me permission to take it. In short, it was A THING to be taking Rhetoric—super nerd achievement unlocked.

The most memorable part of the class was the time we had to hand in the first ten sentences of the papers we were working on. If there were too many sentences with the same structure, the teacher made us edit because variety in sentence structure is important.    

How fabulous is that? I was sixteen years old, in a class I was taking almost by chance. The teacher didn’t even know I was considering being a writer someday, yet she gave me the best writing lesson I’ve ever received!* No teacher, before or since, taught me anything I have used more. Ms. FDR Fan was interesting, but she never taught me anything as crucial as variety in sentence structure is important.    

It has been a long time since high school, but every time I write a paragraph I still think of that lesson from Mrs. Meyers. A toast to her!

Peace and love!


*It was the best lesson. “Sit down and write already, damn it” is the best advice. If high school teachers were allowed to say that to students, Mrs. Meyers totally would have.