Ten writers for children. All with something to say.

10/8/10

An Early Story

While cleaning out a drawer recently, I came across a short story I wrote in 6th grade, entitled "Judy and Her Violin." I remember my teacher, Mrs. Rivas, spread pictures out on a table, and all the students got to look through the choices until we each found one that sparked an idea for a story. My picture was of a young girl playing a violin in an orchestra. It wasn't an ordinary orchestra, though, more likely one in a poverty-stricken/slum community. My story involved a girl who loved music and the Hull House, which was opened to improve social conditions for underserved people (mostly immigrants) in Chicago back in 1889.

About a week after I wrote the story, all the 5th and 6th graders (a couple hundred) were assembled in the auditorium, waiting for a program that was delayed for some reason. I guess the teachers were frantically trying to come up with things to kill time because the next thing I knew, my teacher was speaking into the microphone, announcing that Edith Morris would read her short story aloud. I remember my shocked walk from my seat in the auditorium up to the stage more clearly than I remember actually reading, but it makes me proud all these years later that she chose my story. I wish I still had the picture that sparked it!

7 comments:

Christy said...

Wow--your first reading! What an affirmation. Great writing prompt, and after seeing what a musical family you're from, I know you chose the right picture.

My daughter's third grade teacher was an exceptionally inspiring writing instructor. She arranged for the whole class to give an evening of readings at a local bookstore. It was a memorable night which I hope will carry the same effect of your experience.

Lauren said...

Inspiring teachers. It would be good to write about inspiring teachers sometime on this blog. In the meantime, Edie, what a wonderful memory. I wonder if you could find the photo in some archive of photos? Have you ever googled "girl playing violin"?

David LaRochelle said...

What a proud moment! I felt that excited lurch in my stomach that you must have felt when you wrote about your teacher announcing your name to read your story in the auditorium! Moments like that can shape our lives.

betsy woods said...

I offer you a very delayed Congratulations on your first reading. Bless your little girl heart!

betsy woods said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Edie said...

Thanks for your comments! I'm on my way home from the island in Maine and happened to have internet access where we're staying. Lauren, great idea. I think I will google "photo of girl playing violin."

Mark said...

Great story, Edie! What a proud moment for a young writer!