Over the course of my life, I've had to deal with a number of devils, all of us have.
One of the devils, that bubbled up un-summoned recently, was a teacher I had in 4th or 5th grade, and I want to say it was in social studies, but that doesn't make sense.
Anyway, this teacher was Filipino and had a thick accent, but we all understood him easily enough. Kids are cruel, and plenty of them made fun of his accent with their own versions of what they thought he sounded like.
I never did that, I never wanted to be one of those kids.
Well this teacher gave us an assignment to write a poem, and now you see why I don't think it makes sense that this would have been social studies, the course was irrelevant.
It was the first time I sat down, and really tried to create something with words that might paint pictures, or resonate with others. I was ten, or eleven and about to enter that phase of life where everything would go crazy.
I put everything into that poem, and I can only recall the title 'Seasons' and a recurring line 'Seasons, seasons in the air.' the poem spoke of the various seasons as I'd experienced growing up in the mid-west, we had four of them, they were all quite different.
I wanted every word to mean something.
I had to be sure that what I knew of the various seasons would be communicated in a way that a person reading my poem in the jungle would understand what I wrote.
I was a kid, and this is the only school assignment from my elementary education that I can remember.
That's how much this impacted me.
I finished the poem, not entirely satisfied but accepting that I was a kid and didn't yet possess whatever magic that adults wielded to make the real stuff.
My parents thought it was good, but that's what parents do. They wanted me ot submit it someplace, I cant recall where.
I turned in the poem, and when it was graded, and returned, I got a 'C' and a note that the teacher felt I'd stolen it from somewhere.
This was all in a world before the internet and Google.
He thought I just stole someone elses poem.
My Mother was livid, and I remember there was a meeting. He again claimed that I must have stolen the poem and ultimately, because he couldn't actually show that I had, I think my grade was upgraded to a 'B' or something.
It fucked me up so bad, that I decided not to bother putting that kind of effort into writing anything again. Why put in that time, and passion to create something if people would assume I'd just ripped someone elses work off.
'Your poem was so good, he couldn't belive someone in his class wrote it. There's a compliment in that, if you think about it.' My Mom had said, or something similar to that.
The damage had been done though, and that devil teacher, who likely hated the kids in his classes because they made fun of his accent, turned me off from writing for years. It wasn't until the internet had matured before I decided to actually ever try to write creatively again. Also, please understand that I have no delusions of having any skill at it. For whatever reason, I've found that writing has often acted like therapy for me, and in that alone it's worth the effort I put into it.
I'll end this by saying that I feel our education system in the United States is badly broken, and it has been for many decades, it's indoctrination, and churns out a product. Education should develop minds to think for themselves, and not brainwash young minds policitcally, in -any- direction.
Okay, I feel better now :)