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I grew up in 1950 , Irish working class family near Youngstown, Ohio. Roman catholic school for eight years. Never knew anyone who wasn't working class either in steel mills or the auto industries or railroads. I was smart enough, but never the top of the line. Teachers were good and taught me well enough, but classes were big and I was just another kid. In high school I was in the college-bound classes but my friends were still all the working class kids. Didn't have a clue, until one day my high school English teacher said he thought I had "some talent" for writing. That's all it took! I was off and running. It wasn't easy, but I graduated from college and became a teacher. Even though I moved in the world of the "intellect" due to grad degrees and even some doctoral courses, I always felt between two worlds. I feel I learned valuable lessons in the working class world that aren't always learned if one is priveleged all through early life. Even though I was now a memeber of the educational group, I wound up teaching the poorest kids in the schools. Maybe it was the best place for me to be - I knew more about their lives than I did about children of the upper classes. I felt like the author on the show said: that the teachers who helped me most were those who helped me with life - not so much the coursework. Thank God I had teachers and professors who took the time to act as mentors to me. I've loved learning - and I love most the arts because they really touch the soul of a person. Sometimes poor children or kids who aren't academic never get exposed to any of the arts. Maybe it is better now - but it is through those classes that I learned to love life. I've written all my life - thanks to the kind words of one teacher who probably never gave it another thought. I wasn't his best student and he wasn't asking about my plans or helping me get into college. He opened a door and I knew he would read my stuff and give me feeedback. If one man or woman could do that for me, imagine what someone can really do if they try. I taught for 30 years and hope I helped some of my students the way he helped me, but teaching is one of the areas where you don't always know what happens. You do your best and hope.

apples