Like many adult-children who assume their parents will live forever, I hoped my parents would also be my personal storage space for Everything I’ve Ever Made, Loved, or Owned. I saw the writing on the wall when my old bedroom became my mother’s “project room,” and they started sounding like Japanese organization consultants. Still, I resisted.
Now when I go to my parents’ house, they give me bundles of old things to bring home and nostalgically cry over or burn to the ground. After Thanksgiving dinner this year, my dad handed me a large folder filled with my school projects, including old notes and weird doodles I drew. Going through that folder was like taking a long, sweet walk with myself in 1984.
One special thing, a red spiral notebook, was from my 5th grade Composition class with Mr. Storkman. Among the written gems of this budding writer: a directive on how to get a guy to go out with you (even if he has a girlfriend), a short composition about cow stomachs, and a friendly monster with razor-sharp ears that are as big as my torso. I laughed so much going through that notebook; deep, satisfying belly laughs straight from Discovery Elementary in Gig Harbor, Washington.
My favorite composition was titled “How To Write A Great Paragraph”:
Here I am going to tell you how to write a great paragraph. First and most important of all is INDENT. Always remember to indent. Indents are important. But probably even more important than indents are punctuation. Like exclamation marks! And question marks? And periods. Make sure you write from margin to margin without going outside of them. There are many ways to make a paragraph great. And that’s how you
Teacher’s remarks at the bottom of the page: “You forgot to end your paragraph about how to write a great paragraph.” I think the handwriting looked sarcastic but I guess we’ll never know.
Whatever, Former Me. Keep writing and moving forward. Read good literature, journal every day. Someday you’ll write a political blog post that consists of just emojis and make all those former teachers proud.