Today, as I am starting the revision process for my novel, I had a little bit of a flashback to one of the main events in my life that started a “chain reaction”, so to speak, and resulted in my being here at university, studying English as one of my majors, and sitting with a finished first draft of a science fiction novel.
I’ve told this story before to some people, but for most of you it may come as a surprise. Prior to starting high school, while I enjoyed reading, I actually hated English class. I am not joking, I really just didn’t like going on the days that I had it. But then, in Grade 9, things changed.
I started to enjoy coming to class. We read interesting books and other pieces of literature, including my first exposure to Shakespeare, but there is one specific day that sticks out in my mind.
I tended to come to class early, being that I had English right after my lunch break, and my teacher began to notice this, along with the fact that I would often start reading while I waited. Then, one day, as I walked into the classroom he turned to me and said “You know you’re doomed to become an English professor, right?”
It’s not exactly true, since I don’t particularly enjoy speaking in front of people, but that statement has still stuck with me all the same. It is because of him, and my subsequent 2 teachers for grades 10/11 and then grade 12 that I ended up going into English.
Teachers have a lot more influence than you would really think, if you just looked at the surface. But like I said, I really did not like English before high school so had I not had the teacher I did in grade 9, who knows what I would be taking now?
My teacher in grade 10 and 11 was fantastic too, and helped to grow the love of English and writing that I was developing.
But the clincher I think, not for studying English here at university, is what my grade 12 English teacher wrote in my high school yearbook (yes, I was that kid). I don’t have it on hand so it isn’t word for word, but the gist at the end of his message was that “I cannot wait to read your Great Canadian Novel” (when I actually finish).
Well, that’s the thing. I have a draft finished, and for the first time it’s going to be edited and eventually put out there in the world in some capacity.
So, in a word: Thank You.
Fine, that was two.