May 18, 2012

Thank you Mr. F and Thank You Jessica!

I feel vindicated! Writing on this blog (all of your support) and now my first post on
  The Art Of Education makes me want to storm back to my high school, and say one simple word to my English teacher. 

That word would be "SEE!" 

Mr. F. (I will call him) was old at the time I was in high school, he had long eyebrows that curled like a handle bar mustache, his breathe was that of coffee and onions, and he constantly peppered his students with tiny droplets of spit as he chastised us, okay, mainly me. I was an easy target. I had little self confidence, hated my new school (it was a boarding school), and had no friends (I mean zero.) To make matters worse, the boy who sat across from me in Mr. F's class would constantly give me the middle finger and mouth obscene sweet nothings at me every time Mr. F turned his back to write on the board. When he was writing on the board, I remember him usually using a piece from my paper as the perfect example of bad grammar.

You won't believe what I'm about to say, but Mr. F was really a great teacher. A few weeks into my freshman year, he called my mother. The conversation went like this "Hello, Mrs. Artprojectgirl, I have to discuss something with you. Your daughter is not academically at the same level as the other students, in fact, I have no idea how she was admitted into this school. I think there has been some sort of mistake." They went on talking, I have no idea how he survived that conversation with my mother, she is very much a tiger mom, and decided to have me tested for a reading disability. I was tested that year. I found out very early that I do have a reading disability, which is probably why I always hated to read! Consequently, hating to read made me a terrible writer! Being diagnosed with a reading disablity was THE BEST thing to happen to me in that high school. For one reason only, I got extra time. I got the extra time to take tests and was able to maintain my grades, struggle, but maintain. I quickly figured out that I would have to be an artist because it was the only thing I had any talent at. I went from being the class president at my old school, having an A average and dancing twenty hours a week, to hiding in a darkroom or art studio most of my high school career. Finding out that I reading disability and getting that extra time gave me the extra support I needed to get OUT of that awful boarding school and into a college like RISD. That I am thankful for!

So here it is. My first post on The Art of Education! Even if I tank miserably, someone put my writing up on the board, not to scold it and dissect it, but someone thought it was good enough. 

Thank you Mr. F.

and of course, thanks Jessica (AOE founder). 

I'm sure we all have a Mr. F. in our past that we would like to thank or better yet, show up.
Did you ever have your moment with your Mr. F?


Shannah said...

First, I am so sorry about that terrible school experience! Second, I just want to say that I read your article earlier today and was so impressed with your writing. Precise, engaging, and informative. Well done and congrats! I'm looking forward to reading more:)

Katie Morris said...

I think you did a great job on your first post! I really liked your POEM acronym. :)

Mary said...

Congrats on a wonderful post! You really injected your wonderful sense of humor into your article.

Mizz D. said...

I almost cried when I read this. I grew up with a learning disability. I wasn't reading at all really until the 4th grade so you can image how behind I was. My parents always provided me with art lesson and activities because the art room was the one space I felt I was comfortable in. I am so happy for that because I now hope to provide that confidence for other students. Thanks for sharing you story!

Jessica Balsley said...

What a compelling story. Of course, everyone loved your post, and it made my truly realize why you are a perfect person for the AOE Writing Team! A wonderful chance for you to inspire even more people.
You are amazing!!!