Monday, April 28, 2014

Who Inspired You to Write?

Writing is something that I have enjoyed doing for as long as I can remember. I liked the writing assignments in school, and usually thanked God for the essay questions on tests as they almost always brought my scores up. And I was one of those weird kids who actually loved to diagram sentences. The English programs in both my junior high and senior high schools were very strong, and I had some excellent teachers along the way.

Jerry Wadden
Most memorable, though, was Jerry Wadden. Mr. Wadden taught A.S.P. English, which I took my senior year in high school. It was an advanced placement class, and I will never forget the first day in his classroom. He laid down the law about how hard the class would be, the number and difficulty of the assignments we would be required to complete, and the rules of his classroom. A number of students immediately dropped the class, and I am not going to lie - I considered doing so myself. After all, it was senior year. Did I really want to work so hard for a class that was not even required for graduation? Obviously, I stuck with it, and it was one of the smartest decisions I ever made in my educational process.

While the class did require a lot of work, it truly made us think and question as young nearly-adults. And my writing skills grew exponentially in his class. Mr. Wadden was a fair teacher, but he pushed us to be critical thinkers and writers. And he was very supportive of those of us who were going on to college.

A year or so ago a classmate gave me Mr. Wadden's email address, and we have since been corresponding. He remembered an impressive amount of information about me, including where I had been planning to go to college and what I was going to major in. Surely he must have kept note cards on his students? I was grateful to have the opportunity to be able to thank him for the impact he has had on my life. He was not surprised that I have authored books and have my own publishing company.

My 40th class reunion is this summer, and I have invited Jerry (as he insists that I call him - it still feels awkward to do so) to join us. He is planning to attend, and I can't wait to see him. There are some things that are better expressed in person. My speech teacher Mr. Springer will be there as well. He is another man who shaped the type of college student and later employee that I would become. I owe him a thanks as well.

Who inspired you to write?


Mrs. Wryly said...

That's a nice story.... Much better show of appreciation than giving him a sappy Hallmark card. I'm glad you reconnected with him.

Kim Wolterman said...

Yeah, I wouldn't know where to mail the card anyway. I am so excited to see him!

Ahamed said...

There will be a time when your readers expect something from you. Give them something useful or interesting to anticipate about. cheap research paper writing click resources You can reveal parts of your work for them to have a 'taste' and decide if it is good enough for them to stay.