My mother salvaged an old desk from a dilapidated school which I had attended, painted the desk, and painted a picture of the remains of the school.  The picture hangs on my wall; the desk sits in my corner.  And, I remember.  Sixth-seventh-grade.  Mrs. Jackson.  Copying selections from the dictionary.  (I did learn the sounds of long and short vowels that year!  I had learned to read without being exposed to diacritical markings.)  I didn’t know what I was doing wasn’t really very meaningful until I became a teacher and wished for something to have the “brainy-er” students do to keep them out of my hair for a bit.  The desks in that school were designed for two students sitting side by side so the ink well was in the middle of the desk.  I cheated one time, one time only that I remember. No – hold the applause –  it was no great honor that I didn’t cheat, I just didn’t think I needed to.  I thought I was smart enough without cheating.  I did become a Christian, about that time, and looked at cheating as sin, so I chose to study hard.  Back to how I cheated.  I looked through the ink hole to see my open geography book on the book shelf beneath.  As far as I know Mrs. Jackson did not know I cheated.  When I graduated high school, Mrs. Jackson helped me write my valedictory address titled as most such speeches are, “Hitch your Wagon to a Star.”  Not very original, but very short.  I was very limited on my ability to write any kind of composition—but long on my ability to copy pages from the dictionary!  Mrs. Jackson probably came to see me on my big night; I remember little except that I was petrified to speak before my class of twenty-four graduates and all their families.

All that does not sound like a very great salute for Mrs. Jackson.  So why did I think of her when I think of mentors.  One lesson she taught me hit fertile soil.  I think these were her exact words, “You can do anything you want to do, as long as you choose to do right.”  Thanks, Mrs. Jackson, I received two lessons in that one statement.  One, I must choose “right” in order to achieve my dreams, and two, I had the ability to do what I wanted to do.  And, Mrs. Jackson, if you happen to be tuned to my earthly existence, you won’t be surprised that I love grammar but I’d like you to look at my blog.  I have learned to put words together in meaningful ways—composition!

(Blogging Lesson—Mentors)

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. Very sweet and well said! I hope I am an invisible mentor to my own students now.

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