“Stella, please come here quickly” , my mother called me one day when I was visiting her during the summer vacation. I hurriedly rushed to listen to what she had to say. She was asking me to stay there and listen to the news . As , I tried to listen to the news carefully, I realised that they were speaking about the most prominent writer of the year and the name they announced was that of , Alice Parker. Her live interview was being broadcasted at that time.Alice Parker had earned the fame of being the best-selling young adult fantasy writer. As my mother , listened to the news she was almost jumping with joy. ” What is so interesting about this writer? “, “You seem different” I asked my mother curiously about the the writer and why she was feeling so excited about the whole thing. Infact I was seeing her feeling extremely happy after eons and was absolutely excited to see her feeling so happy.
” I wonder , if she is the same Alice Parker”. My mother was saying with her eyes sparkling with a fresh joy. If I not mistaken , she is the same girl who was a backbencher ,while I was teaching English to the fifth graders in Brighton Junior School, almost three decades ago at Atlanta, Georgia. Alice was not in the habit of reading books , or penning her thoughts. She would be lost in one corner of the classroom. I hardly ever saw her speaking to friends. Somehow , I had a feeling that this girl has a great potential and could perform well, if she was given proper potential and guidance. I immediately began to take special care for her. I introduced her to the world of books. Helped her pen her thoughts and come out of her she’ll.
I immediately clicked on Alice’s biography link to scan for references to Brighton Junior School, where my mother had taught and I was surprised to find Alice Parker’s name there. It further read that Alice had written her first fiction during her fifth grade . I was extremely surprised to learn this because my mother was just twenty three years , when she taught Alice Parker. That year had been indeed challenging for my mother Anna Jacobson, as she was battling ovarian cancer and had undergone several sessions of chemotherapy, which left her weak and exhausted. This discovery of Alice’s comeback brought a special happiness to my mother and made us feel equally proud of her. Later as Dad and I checked for all the books written by her, we came across a 1989 novel with the title ” The Unusual Christmas Present”, which Alice had dedicated to all ” the teacher’s who shaped my life.” Alice Parker had listed three names and one was the name of my mother. The dedication concluded with the line” A great teacher is the best treasure.”
This incident made me realise , that teacher’s can alter the personality of their students greatly.
Note: This story revolves around the real life story of Tamora Pierce who is an ” enormously popular” writer as a New York Times review put it , of books featuring powerful heroines. Her teacher , Mary Jacobson was the first person who motivated her to write and read books. It has been published in Reader’s Digest Sep 2020, by Karin Brulliard with the title ” Suprise Thank You.”
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