I composed in my head as a child, envisioning the words, even tunes to which those words could be played, in my favorite environment, the countryside where I lived, riding my horse in solitude, escaping up to the heavens to chat with God, inquiring why this, why that . . .
I am modest, humble, and feared no one would like my poetry or prose. I have always felt no one could possibly understand such verses I penned down.
This past year, I discovered I have a chronic illness. I shall turn 49 in December. This summer was also the 30th class reunion of the 1981 Sartell High School graduating class. I had never attended one single reunion in 30 years, and this year was going to be different. I was going to go. You'll see in a bit.
I reflected on my past and what dreams I had achieved--the easy ones, as I refer to them. I felt I cheated myself because I settled for the easy dreams. I studied in France to finish my first B.A. in French Language and Literature (and subsequently completed three other degrees including my Master's). I had joined the Peace Corps, then U.S. AID, a life-changing five-year period in my life, and now for the "settling" part. I became a college teacher.
This summer's class reunion brought to my mind, and not for the first time something has sparked this memory, a particular teacher in High School, to whom I attribute a lot of my perseverance and confidence in achieving my dreams--except this final one: to write and to allow others to enter my mind, the same mind that molded a child 40 years ago, now mature and yet unchanged. I want to contact this person, David Schwinghammer, to let him know that his influence throughout 30 plus years has left a mark on hundreds of students outside and inside the United States, through me. I still recall specific English assignments that I have relayed and implemented, in addition to the fervor for writing and creativity he instilled in me.