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How many of you remember a teacher who deeply affected you or changed your life? Someone you still remember fondly? Or not so?

I’ll never forget a particular character forming experience during my 13-year-old Freshman year of Creative Writing Class. I won’t name names, to protect the guilty party! But, if you went to High School during the 80’s in Lincoln, Mass., you know who I’m talking about!

But, I’ll start from the beginning. My Mom was an English Major; so, she raised me quite literate. From a very young age I had a prolific vocabulary and a propensity for imaginative prose.

One evening, doing my homework, sitting on the kitchen counter while my Mom made dinner, I developed a short story about a young Indian (Native American) boy who lost his way in a forest which was cloaked in darkness all day and night by a tall mountain. Gone but not forgotten the boy’s legend now is followed by tribes as the spirit of the North Star.

I made up cool Indian sounding names for all the characters and scenery and was quite proud of the result – more importantly my Mom approved.

I turned it in … and got an F.

I was crushed. The teacher’s remarks were “Obvious plagiarism; source?” I was flabbergasted. (Wonder if she knew that word?)

Now my mother of course charged into the school principal, defended my honor and the teacher raised my grade, to a B. (Really? Good enough to be stolen but not worthy of an A?)

I never really, wrote again… and that experience jaded my view of certain aspects of life – like mean, ignorant adults. You can see, the choosing of people, the hires for any job, like educators could change the course of an individual’s life, maybe yours, or a child’s or your child’s!

Of course, my life’s story has a happy ending, so a few years ago I wrote my first Amazon #1 Bestseller! (Suck it Mrs. K!)