I have a confession. I love school. I love learning. Now that I am (possibly…maybe…at the least, currently) through with my education I feel it’s an appropriate time for this admission. Now, just like everyone else I had a favorite subject. Three guesses what it was, and the first two don’t count. Yup, English. Fourth grade, when I was nine, was definitely the year this became a solid fact.
My teacher, Mrs. Kirby, would gather her gaggle of rambunctious students in a circle on a tattered rug and read Roald Dahl stories. There were others: Bridge to Terabithia and Where the Red Fern Grows, but Dahl’s stories were a memorable staple. While other children picked at their scabs or fell asleep against the blue bean-bag chair, I was engulfed in every word. I didn’t want the stories to end. And when the chapter came to a close, I could almost hear the film reel in my head clicking off.
It came as a natural next-step to start writing my own stories. We were assigned vocab-related short stories to complete each Wednesday that I penned with fervor. As an additional means of enticing the class to write, Mrs. Kirby gave the opportunity to write a poem. Not only would it be shared with the class, but it would be published in a book for New England’s Young Writers. As far as nine year-old me was concerned, she had me at published.
On the ride home from school, I fumbled together some animals (surprise, surprise) and rhyming words to create my masterpiece. It lay on the page as the quintessential depiction of spring time. I would love to share the piece with you, but alas, it has disappeared into the depths of my bookcase. I recall bees and trees, spring and a bird’s wing, many flowers and hours. It was my grand entrance to poetry. Thank goodness I’ve since chosen fiction.