I’m participating in The Scintilla Project, which is a fortnight of prompts that are meant to remind the participants why they started blogging in the first place. I’m very excited about this project – I think this is the kickstart I need to start writing here again. Please be sure to go to the homepage and check out some of the other participants!
Day 2: No one does it alone. Write a letter to your rescuer or mentor (be it a person, book, film, record, anything). Share the way they lit up your path.
The first Friday we knew each other, you made us stand on the desks and handed out papers. We usually listened to music during class, but this song was different. This was a rite of passage for the seniors, our declaration of independence. You told us on the first day of the semester that this was going to be the most important class we took. You were going to teach us HOW to think, to think for ourselves, to see the logical fallacies in arguments and in our own writing. And this song was the embodiment of everything we were going to learn.
As we continued through the semester, we read a lot of books. We discussed all manner of logical fallacies and how to recognize and avoid them. We were encouraged to choose a term paper topic. I spent my spring break reading The Agony and the Ecstacy and Of Mice and Men, two books I never would have read otherwise. All the while, we still sang the same song every Friday as soon as the bell rang; as the semester went on, we memorized the lyrics and became more comfortable singing at the top of our lungs.
Our last Friday was a beautiful spring day. The windows were wide open, there was a breeze coming in and we were ready to graduate. We had all turned in our term papers, they had been graded and returned to us; I think I received an A- on that paper, which I toiled over and poured out my blood and sweat. We got on the desks one last time and sang about friends that used to be real close and how no matter what, we wake up with ourselves. And at the end of the day, that’s okay, because we’re living our lives the way we want, with intelligence, questions and an open mind.
And during that summer, you asked me to help clean your classroom. You saw that I was much more than my co-workers on the summer cleaning crew and gave me books to read. You and I discussed them while I helped pack and straighten your classroom. I greatly enjoyed that time, where I could have intelligent conversation with someone. I felt less alone before I went off to the next adventure known as college.
Mr. Adrian, wherever you are, thank you so much for your wisdom and insight. Thank you for teaching me advanced composition senior year of high school. Thank you for allowing me to join the club. And above all, thank you for teaching me the lyrics to “My Life”. Whenever I feel overwhelmed or angry at the world, I put that song on and am reminded that I am the master of my fate. That always brings a smile to my face and allows me to go on with my life.