Mr. Holden

Mr. Holden

My biggest pet peeve is to read a book where all the characters are invariably nice, caring, helpful, and perfectly perfect in each and every way. That is not indicative of humans beings. Sometimes, we lie to our parents. Sometimes, we are horrible friends. And most times, we do the opposite of what we should because living life on our terms is easier.

 When I open a novel, I want to read about real people, experiencing real life with real emotions. I recognize how hard it is for writers to raise the bar and create dynamic, multi-dimensional, and flawed characters.

 What they lack is character motivation—their reason for being. Each human has a purpose, and so should each character. Know this, and you know the most important aspect of creating fictional work.

 My ninth grade Advanced English teacher, Mrs. Maman told me that I could write, but it was Mr. Holden, my sophomore AP Psychology teacher who taught me how to write.

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Mrs. Maman

Mrs. Maman

It was the middle of my Advanced English class, and I was silently finishing the in class assignment. Suddenly, my teacher, Mrs. Maman, came to my side to tell me ‘I needed to see her after class.’

No good can ever come from those words. I spent the rest of the hour trying to remember any action I could have taken that warranted  a meeting with my teacher. My hands were clammy, and I could barely pay attention. All I could think of was what my parents would do if I came home with a detention.

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Mr. Smolinski

Mr. Smolinski

Mr. Smolinski probably doesn’t remember me—which is a shame because he was one of the biggest academic influences in my life.

My seat was in the middle of his afternoon 9th grade World History period. The frames of my glasses were a bit too small for my face, and my wardrobe consisted of All Star converse, jeans, and sweatshirts. I wore my crochet micro braids in a high ponytail that flowed down my back, nearly touching the desk behind me.

My hair was apparently too close to the boy who sat behind me. Almost every time I wore it in that style I remember the boy—Jordan—pulling on my weave, telling me to remove my hair from his desk. I’d roll my eyes before twisting the massive weight into a giant bun on top of my head, which gave my face maturity and accentuated my bone structure.

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