She was soft, round and motherly. Her hair in its neat bun was streaked with gray. She took me aside on my first day in a new and much bigger school.
“I feel a little strange and out of place”, she confided softly. ” I’m new here, too, and I don’t have any friends, yet. But we can be friends for each other while we are learning our way around. Okay?”
I felt a little better when I took my seat because I was able to concentrate on her kind face and ignore the stares of my classmates as they checked out the new girl. But when she announced the days assignment, my confidence plummeted. She asked us to write a story! One page about anything we chose.
Writing a story, even a one page story, seemed an insurmountable, impossible assignment. I glanced around at the busily scratching pencils of the other ten-year-olds. It seemed everyone else had done this before but I didn’t even know how to start. As she walked through the classroom, she stopped at my desk, touched my shoulder and whispered. “just do the best you can.”
So I started writing. As my pencil moved a story took form. She liked it! And she told me so! “Dear, you have a talent. I believe someday you may be a writer.”
At age ten, I was already worried about jobs and making a living.
“You mean like a job? Do people get paid to write stories?”
“Yes, people who write stories get paid very well indeed.”
Oh well. I guess even a good teacher can’t be right all the time.