I began teaching at Canby High School in Canby, Oregon, in 1978, and for the largest part of my career I taught nearly every subject in the Language Arts Department, from basic freshmen English to Advanced Placement English. I retired from teaching full time in 2006, but I still occasionally substitute at CHS, and I enjoy it immensely–so darn much less essay grading, test making, attendance taking, parent conferencing and hair pulling! Today, I’m giving a reading from my novel at CHS, and the audience, I believe, will be comprised mainly of teachers, many of whom are my friends, and all of whom I deeply respect and consider as colleagues. During my years of teaching, I often dreamed of becoming a writer of novels, but I never once dreamed I’d be reading one of them at CHS. I think it’s safe to say that, for me, the happy reality of today’s reading transcends the scope of my old dreams. Maybe it’s time for new dreams.
Quote of the Day: “To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.” Elbert Hubbard
One of your former students, J.D. Roth, gave me your website address. Reading “An Audience of Teachers,” was like reading an excerpt of my own autobiography. I taught high school English and community college night classes for 32 years, before retiring in 2002. I immediately made the transition to University level teaching for Chapman University and have been serving as adjunct faculty for their online Dept. since Sept. of 2007. The old saying, “life keeps getting in the way,” seems to apply to many English teachers who dream of getting involved in a creative writing project. Now that I am working only part time, I am moving ahead with my novel about how the Vietnam war disrupted the lives of many young men from my generation. We all learned to take off our uniforms before going out into the public. There were no hero welcomes for returning Vietnam Vets. The story line involves a few battle scenes but the main focus is human interest for thousands of teens who found themselves 8,000 miles from home fighting a war because of the draft. The title is “The Things We Left Behind.” I have 130 pages of first draft and many more planned. Great to see the success of your novels and looking forward to reading all of them. Self publishing does seem to have many advantages and some challenges but I’m in the process of learning more. Glad to be joining your blog group.
Vietnam Vet 1964-67