My first English teacher Mrs Cameron really is the reason why I developed such an over analysing mind, I think. Or at least she gave me an outlet for it. In grade 9 I was introduced to "critical literature", in other words a way to analyse everything that you're viewing, reading, hearing; to work out what the underlying message is. I have never been able to just sit and watch a movie since. I'm always trying to work out why they used certain colours, props, scenes, music and what it's meant to mean. It's quite annoying, maybe this is why I can never just sit and relax, I always have to be trying to work out why everything is happening.
While I'm grateful for being introduced to the crit lit way of thinking, Mrs Cameron and me didn't really get along that well. In grade 10 she accused me of cheating on a short story assessment. She walked me outside the classroom and told me that I obviously had my parents write the story for me because it was too good. Apart from being offensive, I found that mildly hilarious. A: my dad was not even alive (she didn't know that) and B: my mum never finished high school let alone had any interest in writing. I never got good marks in her class. I think the highest I ever got was a B and that was rare, which is odd considering I was supposedly cheating because my work was too good. And yet not good enough to get good marks. Makes total sense right? Anyway, in grade 12 they had to split her class up and she had to pick 3 students to move to another English class. Not surprisingly, she picked me. I didn't care, in fact I was so thankful to get out of her class by then. I moved to Mr Huth's class and that's when I really started to love English and writing even more.
Mr Huth was awesome! He actually cared about his students and helping them. He also made his classes fun. I went from an average student in Mrs Cameron's class to the top of the class with Mr Huth (and I never changed the amount of effort I put into my work). Go figure. In that year we were asked to do another short story, this time about an important time in our life. I wrote about my dad, for the first time ever. I wrote about walking through the funeral parlour when we went to see him after he had died (yes I saw him dead) and included flash backs to my last few memories before he died. I never admitted to most of the people at my school that my dad had died and the teachers didn't really know either. Writing that story was a big step for me, but it was one of the strongest memories I had and one that I thought I could write about in detail. I also never wanted to forget it. I found out after the assessment that Mr Huth took my story home and got his wife to read it as well. Apparently they were both in tears it touched them that much. I got an A+ for that story.
I am so glad that I was moved to that English class. Mr Huth made me believe in myself and my abilities. He gave me the courage to open up and tell my story. He made me feel like it mattered. He cemented my love for writing. Writing has been such a huge constant in my life since then. I want to tell my story. I want others to learn from my story, but most of all I want to make it matter by telling it. To give a reason to why I went through all these hard times and heartache. I guess it was a combination of Mrs Cameron's critical literature and Mr Huth's encouragement that got me to where I am today, and I will be forever grateful to them for that.