On the first day of class our second-grade teacher wrote her name on the blackboard.
She then wrote a short poem underneath, animating the words in voice and gesture.
Open your eyes
Wide and see
My name is
Easy enough to surmise, our reading curriculum was primarily Dr. Suess’ textbooks. I can’t remember the exact nature of the writing assignment she gave us one day. My only memory is the high praise and celebration she bestowed. Singling out my effort by writing my poem on the blackboard, then reading it aloud in front of the whole class.
I had a cat
He was very fat
He sat on my hat
The hat went flat
And that was the end of that
I was only seven years old, but I knew one day I would be old enough to marry Miss Weidensee and pursue the life of a writer she knew I was.