I went to a small, private Catholic school in the early 60's. I came from an unusual family background that highly valued the arts, education & intellectual curiosity. In my family if we (the children) had an idea or belief that was not consistent with our parents' values, we were not punished out of hand, but asked why we believed what we believed, how we arrived at our viewpoint, & its weak & strong sides. Needless to say, this was NOT compatible with the culture of my school. Although I was very smart & made good grades, by the age of 6 I was labelled a "trouble-maker" & teated as such as I moved grade to grade. My 5th grade teacher decided to make her own decisions about me & became an advocate for me with the other teachers in the school. She saw my interest in the arts & encouraged me to pursue that. I took one of my favorite books, The Wizard of Oz, & wrote a script for a play. (unaware that such a thing as scripts already existed in the world) I pre-cast myself as Dorothy, then held auditions & cast the show. I directed it & also did costumes & a small set. My teacher got permission for us to perform it in our class & "tour" it to the other grades classrooms. We were a hit! For the first time my scholastic experience matched the experience I had at home & I absolutely KNEW I could achieve anything! Thank you, Mrs. Kuntz, wherever you are!
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