"And I'll be damn sure she could be teachin' somebody. School to street smarts, girl ain't no dummy." ~ Latyrx
It's been a while since I've written about my mom. I think about her on a daily basis, especially as I'm wanting to share my emotional lunacy and excitement about this baby girl growing inside of me. (Thank you, blog readers, for letting me go on endlessly to you all instead.) But, what I want to write about today is not how much I miss her and wish she could be here with me through this pregnancy. This post is my attempt to honor the amazing teacher that she was, both as a parent and as a middle school instructor.
I recently had the pleasure of reading a scholarship essay by one of my mom's former students in which she features -- you guessed it -- my mom as her most inspirational teacher. The essay was well written, personal, and definitely worthy of a scholarship. Here's to hoping she gets it (vote here)! I felt incredibly proud of my mom while reading it. She achieved what most teachers dream of -- she made a lasting impression on her students.
After reading her student's essay, I thought about how she always encouraged me to write. She knew that I loved writing. That writing was my strength but not necessarily the biggest moneymaking skill. She taught Language Arts because of her own deep-seated passion for literature and writing and her desire to spread that love and inspire others to find the same joy in it. When I decided to make a risky job change a few years back that would allow me to write more creatively but would not be as lucrative, she supported me. She told me to just keep writing. Writers write, she said. I know she would be proud of me for keeping at it with this blog. Even if I'm not writing profound pieces in every post, I'm writing and always discovering ways in which I'd like to improve.
I realize that not everyone loves writing. That writing is not always fun and more challenging for some folks. But I still think the ability to write well is such a vital skill that is often overlooked. And I do believe it can be learned. With my mom as my inspiration, I encourage young people who have trouble with words and sentence structure and language skills to keep writing. To employ writing tutors if need be. Because maybe writing an essay someday will help you pay for college. Or writing will allow you to express yourself in a way that gives you peace of mind when you can no longer talk to someone who did that for you.
Thank you, Mamasay, for keeping me motivated.
Please take this opportunity to "like" the Terri Duterte Memorial Scholarship Fund on Facebook (see sidebar) and spread the word! We really want to see another deserving student benefit from my mom's legacy.