The Colors of the Writing Rainbow
On the topic of writing, there are countless ways to do it right. There are lessons that speak to the individual, and there are lessons that guide the individual to become one of the faceless many. There are mythic lessons, and there are contemporary lessons. One of my favorite types of writing lessons is the acronym lesson. Where ROYGBIV denotes the colors of the rainbow, it also outlines the characteristics that a writer should embody. This remembered lesson from high school is a testament to the enduring power of a teacher’s passion.
As time pushes on, as the months and years pass by and life navigates its twists and turns, the things we learned in school sometimes blur into the trees and promontories of the background.
We might remember our first date, our best friend from school, we may recall, painfully, feelings of rejection and loneliness, moments of ridicule.
But how many in-class lessons do we remember? Can we remember anything pertinent our 8th-grade algebra teacher taught us? (Well, surely, Marc Kuslanski can!) How about 10th-grade history or chemistry? Sadly, so much is lost, often irretrievably so. But some lessons endure. Some remain vibrant and alive, decades later.
For me, one such lesson occurred one sunny spring day in English class when I was a freshman in high school. The teacher, a large, balding man with a soft voice, was a writer at heart, and sometimes, seemingly at random, he would…
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