Over the years there have been so many people that I would assign the label of mentor. Starting with my parents... they believed in most of my dreams and were encouraging (most of the time) And their truthfulness in observations of the direction of my chosen life paths grounded me to think before I leaped (most of the time) However, wisdom acquired has evolved into agreement with their judgment…maybe my interpretation of Shake, Rattle, and Roll with my enthusiastic gyrations were too much for a grade school talent show. Father Burke and Sister Jule Anne dispensed their disapproval with a conduct slip. My parents counter attacked with the assigned penance of no record playing for a week. It was the start of my limited stage career.
Enter mentor Sister Alice Anne who developed skills in her students to embrace the written word with adjectives of descriptive meaning and with verbs that creatively explained past, present, and future. As her student I wrote letters to Carlos in South America and thanked him for sending the fragrant and delicious coffee beans. As each season began Sister Alice encouraged compositions of Mother Natures’ colorful palette that decorated our world. She unlocked my imagination. Even at Arithmetic time (math known commonly today) she had our class singing Drill and Mental Time to the tune of Catch a Falling Star. Multiplication tables never sounded so creative.
A surprise came when I entered an English course in my first semester of college. The Professor announced (actually shouted) to the class after our first writing assignment that he was amazed how we had managed to be admitted to college. He said that we were inadequately equipped. We were accused of repeated run on sentences and ending sentences with prepositions. Also, he warned us if we came from homes with bookcases of condensed Readers Digest books that it was never to be mentioned to him. Aggravated assault to creative decency was how he defined condensed best sellers. But that Professor did have a mentoring influence on me. Criticism and opinionated notations and statements on theme assignments acquainted me with the force of rejection. It was a first step in learning that exposing my written words to any type of critique could be positive. I realized, too, that my Professor’s cookie cutter approach to analysis and review of the course work led to my own discovery of the ever expanding creative poetic and writer license. Dammed be the prepositions and overused thats >>> full speed ahead !
The ever present and top notch mentor of my life lives in heaven. I have always prayed and acknowledged God. In fact there were many times in my life that I wished for my picture on a holy card. My spiritual journey has given me the born again realization that we are all called to be Saints. It is a non-denominational and ecumenical promise. To let go and let God … the best mentor of all. He has led us to Red Room to give us a foretaste of glory divine !