Good afternoon all!
I meet you today with a bit of a heavy heart. I've just received word that a former professor of mine from college has passed away.
I haven't been a college student in two decades and I've only seen this professor once, perhaps twice, in that span of time. Why should I be sad?
We all have that one person who gives us the green light when it comes to writing, or to any sort of creative outlet. If you think about your life, you will find at least one person who perhaps read a story you wrote, or a poem, and said, "I like that. You've got a talent for this."
Well, for me, that green light didn't come until college. I'd been writing since I was a freshman in high school. I wrote the school newspaper almost singlehandedly. I wrote short stories for contests. Instead of taking notes, I wrote stories endlessly. The few writing assignments I had in high school, I poured my heart into. But few people, and certainly even fewer teachers, read anything I truly wrote. Even with my father as my English teacher for much of my high school career, my writing and his opinion rarely crossed paths.
So it wasn't until my junior year in college, then, when I took a creative writing class with a professor who I'd had for several other classes, that I got the green light to write. We were to keep journals that semester, journals that were to chronicle how we searched for and found a theme for the short story that was to be our semester final. Each week he read my journal and left notes and comments in that feathery old man hand writing of his. He was the first teacher to truly see that putting word to paper was what I loved more than anything else.
I got an A- on my final short story. It would have been an A+, but, as he pointed out, I'm not a great proof reader.
So he's passed to Heaven now, and, though I haven't seen him in nearly ten years, I feel a deep sense of loss. I will miss him.