What harm teachers can do

I met a man this week; his name is Lyle and he’s the captain of a little boat called The Ester.  Ester has a history.  She used to be a tug boat, and then whe was an assist boat, but now she sits idle with an engine that just won’t start.  It’s being fixed though, so it won’t be long for Ester!   Lyle talked to me about writing and how he always wanted to write.  I asked what he’s written and he began his story about all the reasons he doesn’t write.  Mostly, though, it stemed from the teachers he had in school who took their evil red pen to his stories, slashing and marking them up, then spewing out advice about how he should take up another hobby.  Why are these teachers allowed in the classroom?  Who gives them the right to slash someone’s dreams?  I told Lyle some stories. 

I shared one about my own essay that had received a D in school, and yes, I got all those red marks and comments about “dangling phrases and” incomplete sentences.  I was pretty dejected – until I submitted it (nearly unchanged) and it was published in a magazine!  So there! And the one about one of the top film directors (I got to meet him at a writer’s conference) who has written and directed at least two award-winning films, and how he wrote a script and gave it to one of his mentors.  The guy told him it was “junk” and totally crushed him.  That script lay in his closet for three years until someone brighter than the first guy read it and now, it’s been nominated for Academy Awards!

I got a call from Lyle’s friend today.  He said, “Lyle wrote seven pages yesterday.”  I am so proud of him.  Keep up the good work and be careful who you listen to, Lyle!

His upcoming book jacket photo!



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