Those of us who write have been either blatantly or subtly influenced by someone, whether a writer, a teacher, a relative, or a friend. I certainly have been influenced by many folks, and today I’m going write about two of them.
We could turn in any and all those projects at any time, but we had to complete the list by specific date before graduation. Mrs. DuBose never mentioned the list again. Instead she spent every class examining and discussing subjects related to writing poetry, essays, short stories, magazine and newspaper articles, and more. Her favorite phrase was, “I want pithy, pithy, pithy writing.” Today I joke and say I thought she had a lisp, but in truth, I did not quite comprehend that she was telling us to write tight. By the end of the year, though, I had a better idea, and I saw my writing improve with her red-ink comments on everything I turned in.
I had a sixth grade teacher who gave me confidence in both my writing and artwork. He and I were both of minority background, in fact, he taught us some Russian in class, very unusual for those times. I remember his name, Rybak and just what he looked like. His support of my writings sent me on my way. I only regret I didn't stay in touch with him.