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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

March 2015



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TGR, Gutenberg, Rubric

Funny memory

I was at a team morale event on Thursday and we were talking about Speech competitions in high school. Some thing a_belletrist mentioned in a comment sparked the memory.

I've always known I was a writer. Even when I was a designer and a preacher, I did more writing than anything else. I started my first "novel" in fourth grade but put it aside because I got confused about the spelling of princes and princesses. (I finished that story for my daughter a couple of years ago!)

But in high school, I started writing poetry. Some of it wasn't half bad and I occasionally stumble across a piece and think that that writer really had some talent. I was active in speech competitions and especially loved the dramatic monologue and poetry reading divisions. I remember as a Senior taking a batch of poetry in to my Speech teacher and having her help me select pieces for competition. She selected two (secretly I'd already chosen the same two) and proceeded to work with me on the interpretation, getting me to examine the authors intent with every line and interpreting passages for me.

I won the competition.

A few weeks later my Speech teacher found out I had written the pieces that I read and she was furious. "The rules of the competition state that the work is to be by a recognized poet." "It is," I responded. "Who recognized this?" she demanded. "You did," I said, "when you chose it and helped interpret it."

That spring she presented the school's speech award (they'd never had one before that) to me with a glowing commendation that stated that in winning the regional competition I'd not only spoken well for the school, but had entered the world of recognized poet and author by reading my own works. Funny, I hadn't thought of that in years, but I still have the little trophy buried somewhere in a box next to my poetry.