During my high school days I had a lot of insomnia and I would write all night long just to have something to do while I was waiting for sleep. I mostly wrote poetry back then and some ideas I had for short stories. I wasn’t sure if I had any talent until I met Mr. Thompson or JT as we called him.
I met JT my sophomore year in high school. He was my debate coach. I learned a lot about just going for it. I did LD debate, Impromptu and Dramatic Interp. For someone who felt like an outsider in high school this was a perfect place for me. I gained confidence in myself and felt that I had something to give. I felt a part of something. I continued to take debate my junior and senior years as well as drama. My debate and drama friends became my best friends.
My senior year I had Mr. Thompson again but this time as my AP English teacher. He opened my eyes to Dante’s Inferno, Jane Austin and Milton’s Paradise Lost. I loved everything we studied that year. I have always been blessed to have some wonderful, inspiring teachers in my life. The ones you never forget who taught you that you can do anything you set your mind to. I took a chance one day and asked JT if he could read an epic poem I’d written. Something crazy happened to me when we read the Inferno. I typed about 20 pages worth of poetry describing the different levels of hell. He really liked it and was impressed. I asked him if I could bring him more of my poetry. He told me he saw a fire and a desire in me that he’d not seen in a long time while teaching. It was refreshing to him. Mr. Thompson made all of us feel special. We felt like his “kids”. Even now as we gather together to remember those times we remember him fondly. He is still changing lives as an English professor at Carbon High. I know someday he will retire but that won’t stop him. He’ll continue to inspire with whatever he does.
Thank you Mr. Thompson for believing in me and my dreams. I hope I can make your words ring true someday when I publish my first novel.