There's not a lot about school that I liked when I was a kid, but over those years, there were a couple of teachers that made a definite impact on my life. One of them was Mary Higginson. Do you know her?
Mary Higginson was my English teacher at Bermuda High School for Girls when I lived in Bermuda for three glorious years. She was from the UK somewhere. She was kind, pleasant and always encouraging. She recognized my love for writing and encouraged me to "grow" it.
When she found out I was going through some teen/parent conflicts, she said, "Why don't you start writing in a diary, Cheryl? It might help you."
I hadn't thought about that before.
I mentioned this to my best friend.
"You should do what Mrs. Higginson suggested," she said.
"But what if my mom or dad find my diary?"
"Hide it between your mattresses. That's what I do."
It's probably what every teen does. But I did it anyway.
I hid the tiny key in my jewelry box. Does every girl do that too?
I wrote about the arguments with my mom, and how much my dad annoyed me. You know, all the normal teenage angst stuff. Every now and then when I was bored, I'd write a poem in my diary. Sometimes I'd write short stories.
When Mrs. Higginson assigned us story writing, I was in my glory. I wrote my heart out and created characters that made me laugh. Sometimes they made me cry. When I handed in my assignments, I would wait with bated breath for my teacher's reaction.
One day, she said to the class, "Let me read you a story."
I don't recall the story title or even the plot. All I know is that it was mine.
She praised my writing in front of the class and told me that one day I'd be a great writer.
I'm not sure I have the "great" part down yet--I'll leave that up to my idol, Stephen King--but I AM a writer. And Mrs. Higginson was responsible for part of my creation. Without her encouragement, I'd never have known my words could have impact and meaning to others.
So now my search is on. Mary Higginson, where are you???
Do you know a Mary Higginson? If so, please have her contact me through my site or blog.
I have contacted the school, but they have no current info. I dream of the day when I can give her one of my novels and tell her how grateful I will always be. Teachers never get enough credit. She took a depressed teenager and helped turn her into a dreamer, who then went on to achieve her dreams.
Mary Higginson, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!
~Cheryl Kaye Tardif
I invite you to check out my novels
I hope you find her! I'm sure she would be thrilled to know of the positive influence she had on you and where it's taken you!
When I was 16 I broke my back and lost a good friend in a car accident and the teacher that I only saw an hour a week both before and then a while after the wreck that I thought knew me the least was the only person to stop me and ask if I was 'talking with anyone about all this?' I wasn't and everyone figured it would go away so there was no point..but it's 22 years later (literally today) and it along with other things are always running through my head! So listen when they talk!! They see things we may not and are just trying to help!
My son had some great teachers in school that helped him with his art and writing too and it's something I'm very grateful for!
They don’t get the thanks they should!!
Jade, I hope you are healed and I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. That's so sad.
Your words here are very inspiring. And it's amazing how many awesome teachers there are out there. I hope today's young people take the time to listen to them.
I certainly hope you find your teacher from years ago. She would be so proud of you and it would over joy her to know all the wonderful advances yu have made and that she had a definite direction in your choices. Teachers never actually get the credit for their long years of teaching and it is even so much harder nowadays. I am very interested in reading your books Cheryl and I have my sister researching you also as we both are always looking for new authors and their writings. Goood luck on your search.
Thank you so much for your kind words. I appreciate them. You're very right that teachers don't get enough credit, especially with everything they have to put up with nowadays. They are heroes! Mary was mine. Every child should have a Mary Higginson in their life. I do hope I find her.
You can learn more about me and my books at my website. :-)
Wow! What a story. I suspect that she didn't forget you either and already knows you're an author and is very proud if you, but how lovely if you could tell her in person how she helped and encouraged you!
Thank you so much, Cassam. I would love to tell her.
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