Life is all about growth and development. I've been teaching an ACE* Creative Writing class in a prison for two semesters now and if you had to give me a dollar for each time in my life I envisioned being a teacher or tutor, you'd keep your money and fork over naught. If I'd ever had such aspirations, I'd have prepared myself- read a tutorial or two on teaching, taken some college courses in whatever classes undergraduate teachers take. If teaching had even whispered to me feebly in a dream, I might have at least fished some point of views from my aunt, great-aunt, or grandfather concerning their careers, their life-long passions.
But for me, there was no such calling; just a hard-jolting circumstance that presented me an opportunity to do something new. The only experiences I had to draw back from were a few months of community service with a county recreation center as a youth sports instructor and reasonings with youth about African history and Rastafarian culture. That's it! No literary degree in Fine Arts, no PhD in English or Writing. I stand in front my ACE creative writing class armed with no more than a bow strung with correspondence writing courses, a quiver filled with a lifetime of my own writings, and the passion of an artist with a will to tear himself off the street.
So, last Monday evening at 6 pm, as I defined the nuances of significant and concrete details, an image came to me in flashback; so, I scribbled it on the white board, using a rust-red, dry erase marker, for my students to ponder:
Ma used to make sweet-to-the-heart limeade by squeezing some bitter, sour limes off a spotted-up, old, blighted tree in our front yard.
* Adult Continuing Education
Read Cry Redemption for more "Creative Writings from Prison and Incarcerated Writers"