| Angie Counios

This one goes out to Mrs. Hynd

Right now, I’m reading a book called The Happiness of Pursuit which Dave gave me. My ritual when I read is that as I come across anything that really stands out, I take a pen and draw a loopy circle around the section.

This began because of Mrs. Hynd, who taught me in 1981:

Circle all the important ideas with a colored pen so when you open your book you can find them at a glance. It will be very helpful.

I have been doing it ever since and when I teach the occasional Grade 9 English class, I follow many of her examples.

She was my grade 7-8 English Language Arts teacher and she was INTENSE. She taught me about subjects and predicates, adverbs, adjectives, prefixes, suffixes, punctuations, "there, their, and they’re" and a whole list of useful stuff around the English language and writing.

I still have my notebooks from that time. Looking through them is like looking at old photos and I get a kick out of my funny and insecure handwriting.

Anyway, she told the class:

If you ever lose your notebook, you will be copying it out from cover to cover.

I took her threat very seriously since I still have the notebooks.[1]

At some point in our experience of who we become, we have to thank someone. Maybe a dad who loved fishing and took us on the lake and helped us love nature. Or a grandmother who loved to sew or craft. Or someone who just made us look at things differently and that piqued our interest in the visual.

I have no idea where Mrs. Hynd is now but I thank her for expecting mastery from this English as a Second Language kid (I wrote a lot of quizzes many times until I got an A). I've learned a lot since then and am still learning but her class was my humble beginning and it was very important.

  1. Teacher rant: Of course, this idea would never fly today as parents don’t want to listen to the bemoaning of their child and a photocopy would solve the problem of copying it out. ↩︎

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