When I was a Senior in high school, there was an English teacher who was known for her pink flair pen. Ms. Nichols was the teacher all Juniors prayed they wouldn’t see on their class schedule when they came out in the spring for the upcoming Senior year. I mean your Senior year is special. It’s your last year for crying out loud, you’re looking forward to the future, NOT to having a teacher who is a task master for how to write a paper or how to do proper grammar. Not to mention seeing PINK all over your pain-stakingly written pages of dreck.
Now the grammar piece I had down pretty well. My grandmother was a teacher for 30+ years and she was constantly correcting me in that area. But when it came to writing a paper, Ms. Nichols is the one who taught me how to do that, and she did it with a pink flair pen. I’m convinced she used pink because a) it had to have been her favorite color, and b) she didn’t want to earn a reputation for making a paper bleed. Not that it didn’t for most of us.
I can however, fully attribute my straight A record in college for papers in every class to Ms. Nichols. In fact, it wasn’t until my Senior in college that my winning streak was broken by my Religion professor with my first C and then a B, after which I go all A’s again! Perhaps God was teaching me a lesson in humility?
But I digress. Ms. Nichols always made you read a book, and then you had to find the book’s theme, write a thesis statement and then back up your thesis. About the middle of the year we were assigned Charles Dicken’s classic, a Tale of Two Cities. As someone who loves to read, I balked at reading this book. I figured it was going to be dull and boring just like the Shakespeare we read, the Red Badge of Courage, and something of Steinbeck’s (was that Red Badge??).
We were required to have one chapter of TOTC (as I fondly refer to is) read by Monday morning, and Ms. Nichols had given us about two weeks worth of time to meet her deadline. I remember that because I had two full weekends to read one BLOODY chapter! So come Sunday night before the next morning when that first chapter was due, I groaned at about 9:00pm and decided that if I didn’t want a zero in her class, I’d better read the damn thing.
What started out as a chore became a book I powered through in one sitting. I was up until 1:00am or something like that finishing the book. I was that enthralled with it. I went into class the next day bleary-eyed, but proudly declared that I’d finished the book the night before (earning glares from classmates) and that it was the best book I’d ever read! In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that I think it’s the best book Dickens ever wrote. It has action, romance, intrigue, sacrifice and everything else rolled into on hell of a package. So….
Buy The Book and Read It This Weekend