It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! The purpose of the IWSG is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer's Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writers. This group is all about connecting!
February 2 question - Is there someone who supported or influenced you that perhaps isn't around anymore? Anyone you miss?
I have a feeling this topic will be emotional for many of my fellow bloggers. I look forward to reading everyone's heartfelt posts!
For me, the person who comes to mind is my favorite college professor, Dr. D. He taught Literary Analysis, the weed-out course for English majors. Freshman year, I took the class with the other professor who taught it...and I did not pass. Failing made me question everything. How could someone who got straight A's in high school fail at a freshman level college class? Was I cut out to be an English major? Without a passing grade, I couldn't take higher level literature courses.
With fear and trembling, I registered for the course again, this time with Dr. D. He too had a reputation as a tough grader, so I fully intended to drop the class and change my major if I still couldn't cut it.
To my surprise, things made sense this time. Dr. D's teaching style connected with me, and I finally understood how to develop and support a thesis. When I received my first graded paper, the drop/add deadline was near. Nerves on edge, I found a quiet spot to open the envelope. There, at the top of the page, was a big, beautiful B. At that moment, I knew I could do it. Although his classes required rigorous work, I enrolled in as many as possible. I even took classes from the professor who'd failed me. Now that I had a solid foundation, I excelled under her teaching too.
A year after graduating, I went back to campus for a visit. Dr. D made time to chat with me over coffee. I was self conscious to admit I worked at Yellow Pages, publishing phone books. Not quite the glamorous career of an editor at one of the big five publishing houses. However, he was excited for me, saying how great it was that I’d found a job in my chosen field, regardless of what I was publishing. From then on, I held my head high when telling people what I did for a living.
That was the last time I talked to him in person, but he was always present for me and all his students over social media, ready to cheer each success. The last thing he said to me was "Nice, Kim!" when I won a flash fiction contest.
He passed away suddenly a few months ago.
Most of the students who offered tributes to his memory spoke of how frustrated they were when they received their first F on a paper. Gradually, they came to see he only tore them down to build them back up. For me, it began differently, but like the other students, I'll always remember him as the person who challenged me and made me a better and bolder thinker. I am so thankful for the privilege of knowing him and for the positive impact he had on my life and my writing.
2/2/2022 10:36:27 am
“Encouraging” is definitely the right word to describe him. Thanks for the visit!
2/2/2022 08:51:07 am
What an incredible privilege, to be taught by a professor who actually expected you to think and work hard. And I love his attitude about your job. Dr. Ds are in rare supply in today's world. I know he is missed.
2/2/2022 10:34:14 am
Yes, he was very special to a lot of students. Thanks for the visit!
2/2/2022 04:38:24 pm
He sure was. Thanks!
2/2/2022 02:38:59 pm
I love that he validated your job, and he was right! The world of publishing is a hard one to break into, and you were doing it, even if it didn't look how you thought it should at the time.
2/2/2022 04:39:18 pm
2/3/2022 06:11:12 am
So wonderful that your English professor had such a positive impact on your life. My English profs were... not good. (I think one of them was fired for sexually harassing students a few years later) Fortunately I wasn't an English major, and my Theatre professors were far more helpful and encouraging. I wrote about one of them in my post this month.
2/3/2022 08:23:47 am
Oh my goodness! I was fortunate to have some outstanding professors. I’m glad you had supportive theatre profs.
2/5/2022 02:02:19 pm
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
2/5/2022 06:03:44 pm
He was, indeed.
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