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A Thank You To My High School English Teachers

To My High School English Teachers,

 

I’m an English student now! And I would like to say thank you.

Thank you for opening up this path to me. English gets a pretty bad rap nowadays. Some people laugh when they hear about English majors, because our field doesn’t give us a clear and direct path to a career straight out of undergrad. For this reason, I was hesitant to join the English world despite my love for it. However, I could look at you and see successful women in the English field. I do not want to be a teacher, I know this now, but that does not take away from the inspiration you provided me with.

Thank you for the grammar. I hated grammar tests. I think everyone in our grade twelve class hated grammar tests… but thank you for the grammar lessons. In my first year creative writing class we had grammar quizzes, they hurt my soul then as much as they did in your class, but I knew what I was doing. I could workshop pieces, edit for grammar and be confident in what I was talking about. (I still overuse commas though!)

Thank you for the classics. I walked into my first university English class and was given a copy of the syllabus. I recognized two of the titles immediately: The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe and Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway. It was cool to know what my prof was talking about already. I knew exactly what the gothic was when he asked.

Thank you for giving me poetry. Before your classes poetry was something that always rhymed. Funny little couplets that didn’t make a lot of sense. In your classes it became something more. I fell in love with poetry in our too hot classrooms.

Thank you for letting me write. I wrote a lot of essays for you over the years. A lot of the time you told us to pick our own topics, something I didn’t understand. It makes sense now why you always encouraged us to come up with things on our own. I’m grateful that you almost never gave us a specific topic and set us loose. Thank you for showing us MLA and how to cite! Thank you for stressing the importance of it. I don’t have to think about it when I write anymore.

Thank you for letting me get creative. Thank you for letting me feel. Thank you for giving us assignments where we just had to describe the world around us. Thank you for letting us give speeches about the things that made us angry. Mine was about high school being useless, I’m pretty amazed that you let me talk about that – I still think we should have had a class to explain taxes!  

Thank you letting me design a six fingered yellow hand that would belong in the fringes forever. Thank you for letting me know that the fringes were an awesome place to be, because if you’re going to be an English major, why would you ever want to be normal?

Most of all, thank you for supporting me. Thank you for reading my mediocre work and not just telling me it was great, but also telling me it could be better. Thank you for being excited when I was accepted into Western’s English program. Thank you for your work as teachers, and thank you for being the people that you are.

 

Thank you for everything,

Maggie

 

Former Editor in Chief of Her Campus Western, 2018-2019. I spend my time working towards and English degree with a minor in creative writing. My motto is, "do what makes you happy" - I don't know who said it first but it's some damn good advice. I love everything HCW related and want nothing more than to continue watching this chapter grow!
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