In high school, I had a number of teachers who had a lasting impression on me. One of the most surprisingly influential teachers however, was the English teacher I had first semester, senior year. Mr. Dugan teacher was probably one of the most lax teachers I had in high school. He was known for loosely covering the curriculum and for not giving clear deadlines. I suppose it is him I have to thank for remembering deadline dates when they are initially announced. But what I really have to thank him for was my growing interest in writing.
Mr. Dugan started off each class by telling us to write. We got our notebooks out and were given 10-15 minutes to just write about whatever we wanted. For those who either had writer’s block or who couldn’t write about anything as freely, Mr. Dugan wrote a suggested topic on the blackboard. I loved the freedom we were given to just write whatever was on our minds. After our allotted time was up, we were asked if any of us wanted to share what we wrote.
Another thing that was great about Mr. Dugan was that he encouraged reading for pleasure. Most of my other English teachers were just focused on getting you to read whatever was required for the class, but Mr. Dugan assumed we would want to read for pleasure. I would guess that maybe 50% of the class actually adhered to this assumption and every now and then would gladly read a loud a paragraph or two that we thought our peers would find interesting, entertaining, or at least just listen to. And after my peers shared their books, Mr. Dugan would share with us something from whatever he was reading.
It is because of Mr. Dugan that I discovered my fondness for writing. I enjoyed writing whatever was on my mind. And after that class, I didn’t have an “excuse” or an outlet for writing whatever I felt like it. Jump ahead six or so years. My only real writing during that time was for school papers and projects. After graduating from college, I realized that with my free time, I could once again go back to writing for fun and thus this blog was formed. So thank you, Mr. Dugan, wherever you are. You inspired me to write whatever I felt like and because of that, I feel like not only have I created a great blog, but I have also improved my writing as well.