Monday, April 25, 2011

U is for Unicorns

U is for Unicorns.

The first "book" I wrote was in second grade. It was written on construction paper with a wallpaper cover and yarn binding. Not only did I write it I illustrated it too. It was about a space traveling unicorn who had to leave her planet.

My mom found it when she was moving and now it is in my possession.

The awesome thing about this, despite the fact that it is funny as hell to read now that I'm a grown up, is that I have some proof that yes I've been writing forever.

Troll vs unicorn

But more awesome than that is the person who encouraged me to write. Miss Johnson, my second grade teacher. The books were her idea. We also made one for Easter but I can't find that one. She read to us aloud every day. It was in Miss Johnson's class that I first met Charlotte and Wilber, Mrs. Frisby, Ramona Quimby and the gang.
Besides that she encouraged creativity.

Her encouragement was the foundation of a lifelong love of reading and writing.

I teach at a theater camp in the summer and I try to encourage the way Miss Johnson did. A lot of kids think they're bad at art/crafts. I encourage them that there is no bad art in my class. Everything is an expression of who they are. Eventually even the kids who think they are bad at art get into the project. If you ever have the chance to teach kids art, theater, or writing make sure you encourage them as much as possible. You never know who may grow up to be a writer, artist, musician, actor.


E.J. Wesley said...

Unicorn > Troll. :-)

So cool to have something like that from your childhood. What a great reminder of how creativity is always with us. It's just our ability to express it that gets refined.

Thanks for sharing!


Julie said...

I love the unicorn vs. troll picture. I can imagine it is fun to look at that book now, how cute. Great post!

Sew What Daddy said...

Wonderful! I used to write stories all the time, too! But I never came up with anything so creative! I think it's so important to encourage kids to try new things.

Alas, I no longer have my stories from gradeschool. I do, however, still have my first sewing project!

Kiernan said...

That's so true about encouragement. I know that without the encouragement of my parents and some key mentors, I wouldn't be writing at all today.

RosieC said...

That's so cool! I love that you still have this. What a treasure! I wish I could find the old stories I wrote as a kid back at my parents' house. I've been meaning to take some of the mss from when I was in JHS and HS, but the ones from when I was really little... I would just frame them or hang them on the wall or something (mine were never bound with yarn, which makes yours way cooler than mine).

I love it! Thanks for sharing.

East for Green Eyes

Lydia K said...

Your first book is way cooler than mine. Mine was one paragraph and had no illustrations.

Nice to meet you and your blog!

Mary Aalgaard said...

Loved your last two posts. So glad you encourage people to attend the theatre. So many adults were wounded as children and told they were artistic or couldn't sing or write. We need to lift up, not tear down.

Misha said...

So true! I also still discover things that I wrote when I was very small.

I agree with you that it's important to encourage arts in all children.

Lindsay N. Currie said...

That's just AWESOME! I wish I had some of my old writing stuff. I'm sure it would be filled with sheer insanity LOL:) Frame that and put it up in your writing area!

Jaydee Morgan said...

How great for you to have that book back in your possession! And I totally agree - I had a teacher encourage me the same way. It has a lasting effect.

Cruella Collett said...

How cute!

I agree - encouraging teachers are truly important. I've come across one or two while growing up, and they really made a difference in terms of my choices in life. Teachers matters a lot!

SaraToday said...

We still have to have unicorn book reading day. Let's schedule - have your troll call my troll.