An Open Letter To My Eighth Grade English Teacher
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An Open Letter To My Eighth Grade English Teacher

I can never thank you enough.

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An Open Letter To My Eighth Grade English Teacher
Hooked On Houses

I don't quite know if you remember me, it's been a while since I stepped foot in the pastel hallways or sat in one of the metal desks.

I was in class 803--I always thought it was funny that I progressed from 601 to 702 to 803--I was shy and quirky, the floweriest of wallflowers. I sprained my knee the last week of class and had to walk at graduation with crutches. I wanted to be a writer. Remember?

Middle school wasn't the most pleasant for me, you know. At this point I've successfully blocked out most of the more unpleasant memories, but I remember some very specific things about you and your class.

I can clearly picture the yellow walls, lined with shelves and shelves of books, the SmartBoard that you handled like a pro--not everyone was up to the task of managing such a hulking piece of technology. I remember the motorcycle helmet sitting on your desk, I remember the Chuckie doll and the time I used it to scare the wits out of another kid in the class. I can still feel the small sense of pride that I had when you put a third strip of paper over my reading chart that sat at the front of the class. I was quite satisfied with myself when I filled in my 100th book, dwarfing the finished books of the other students.

Our "Romeo and Juliet" project is the reason why it was my favorite play. I ended up playing the Nurse in my high school production--I think you would be proud. I remember one kid's face when you had a couple of students act out the first scene - the one with all the innuendos? - and you tried to explain one of the dirty jokes in the most PG way possible. I remember laughing until tears dripped down my face.

I won't forget the one assignment you gave to just free write for half an hour. The next day, you asked for volunteers to read their work. I tentatively raised my hand and read from my scratchy handwriting the night before. I was suprised at the sound of clapping after I put down my paper. For a second I felt like I was actually being seen, instead of being looked over. My words and I were being heard.

I never properly thanked you for recommending me that playwriting workshop. I applied and got accepted, and by the end of the year my own 10-minute play was performed. I learned so much and I really got to write. Many times I thought about going back to tell you all about it, but I was still a bit afraid of the memories of junior high.

I really wish I could sit down with you for dinner and really get to know you, to thank you for handing me that application. I'd like you to know how pivotal a moment like that was for me. You gave me a ticket that put me on the road to self-confidence, a way out for a shy, scared eighth grader. For that I can never thank you enough.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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