This past week I was sitting in the library to use a printer (I still don't have a computer and I really need one!) and two children came in to return their books and check out some new ones. Sounds like a great idea! Only the librarian didn't think so. She immediately chastised them for being in the library and told them that they needed to get harder books. She didn't want to see them in there every day! She told them to get books that would take them at least a week to read.
As I sat there I wondered if their parents ever took them to the city library to check out book. I thought about myself as a 9 or 10 year old. It never took me a week to read any book. But I don't recall any school librarian telling me she didn't want to see me everyday. Maybe I didn't go to the library at school since I'd already read everything. I thought about the librarian at Hamilton high school and how she was a Nazi about her library. No students! was kind of her motto. I don't think I ever checked out a book from her anyway. Thank goodness for other people (Mrs. Jones) who continued to encourage reading and thinking.
I really loved to read as a kid. I remember my book collection that I kept in this wicker shelf my mother gave me. I remember around 7 or 8 years old I really liked to read those Goosebump books and the Babysitter Club series. I had a lot of those. My mom introduced me to a lot of books. She always loved to read. She introduced me to the Box Car Children, Ralph S. Mouse, Henry Higgins and his friends, Anastasia and her little brother Sam, and Fudge.
I wanted to be a writer once.... well a couple of times actually. Sometimes it was highly encouraged but other times it wasn't. I remember talking about wanting to be a writer when I had this interview for a big 4 year scholarship. It was the Terry Scholarship, and is given to students wanting to attend UT or A&M. They pay for your trip to go to the interview and everything. We had to drive to Temple I think for the interview and I had to sit on one side of a long table with about 5 adults on the other side. It was kind of intimidating. They asked me a lot of questions, one of which was about what I wanted to do with my life. I talked about writing, why I liked it, how it made me feel. We had to have 3 reference letters to apply for the scholarship. I chose teachers from each of the three high schools I had attended. They were all my English teachers actually. They all wrote very nice things about me, about my zest for life, love of learning, and skill at writing. They were the kinds of influence that made me want to be a writer. They loved all the things I wrote about. But I remember sitting there across the table from these grown ups who hadn't ever met me and them asking me,what I wanted to be when I grew up and then responding with a disappointed "Oh".
Either way, I didn't become a writer. That influence just wasn't there when I was in college. I dabbled in journalism but A&M was closing their program so I switched to speech communication and then dabbled in telecom and radio, and found a niche in rhetoric and communication theory. I liked to learn about how and why people interact with each other. I really liked linguistics and took a health communication class from my adviser in the comm department who was actually a speech-language pathologist. She suggested I shadow at a clinic to see if I liked speech-language pathology. So my path went down that way.
But I think there is a part of me that would still like to write.