Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thank You, Mrs. Piland

Shirley Piland taught Journalism to several generations of high school kids in Ava, Missouri. I was one of those lucky kids.

I make a living as a writer with a grand total of one other writing class to my credit. I've been writing magazine articles in the past few weeks. I was a little freaked out when I started the first one. Or, I was until I remembered Mrs. Piland standing in the front of our class, patiently explaining Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.

I type those words at the top of the document and delete them as they get addressed. As I write—more than 25 years since the last time I saw her—Mrs. Piland is in the room with me.

My beloved teacher died a few years ago. I hope that, somehow, she hears me this morning as I say thank you.


kario said...

Back to basics. I love this advice, and I love that you remember it and the teacher.


Nancy said...

Teachers don't often know the impact they have and I have made it a point lately to let them know. I'm sure Mrs. Piland heard you!

Jerri said...

Good for you, Nancy. And you're right. Mrs. Piland heard me. When she was still living, I called her every time a new book came out, every time I got a new writing opportunity.

Mrs. Piland knew how grateful I am because I thanked her many times when she could still hear me with her ears. Now I hope she can still hear me with her soul.

Michelle O'Neil said...

So sweet.

Deb said...

Typing through tears here. Beautiful words. Beautiful writer.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

She totally heard you, and is just on the other side of that thin veil, still whispering, "Who, What, When, Where, Why and How."

You done her proud!