It has been many years since I was in high school. Counting back, it has been over 37 years since I left my home town school. The building no longer exists. The vintage brick and mortar building has been torn down and replaced by a modern institution on the outskirts of town. 

     My diploma does not have the school name on it. My diploma is a general equivalency diploma issued by the state of Maine. I earned this two years after I would have graduated, if I had stayed in school. 

    Because of the invitation from Melissa Haskell Ayres, I have faced a paradoxical situation. I have spoken as an author encouraging young students about writing. A subject I did not have any passion for when I was their age. If my high school self were in the room, I would have used the time to daydream or lounge. Instead, I and three other authors, Duane E. Coffill, Michael Goyet, and Dede Moore, faced a group of inquisitive students. 

     Luckily for me, I am habitually early to events, and I had time to get accustomed to the library. Jane Seeley, Head Librarian, and Audrey Walker, the Assistant Librarian, greeted me warmly. After talking for a bit, I relaxed as much as I could. My fellow authors and I were seated in the front of the room as a guest panel. 

     The kids trickled in and soon we began talking about our books and perspectives on writing. I was expecting disrespectful and bored students, but instead these kids were very interested in writing. Thank god my former self was not in the room. Many of the students had started writing short stories. They asked many good questions about the writing process. 

     Each author had a different way they liked to write. A lot of us used self-publishing to one extent or another. The writing world is changing at an amazing rate. It was nice to share our stories with the next generation of writers. 

     I was also given the honor of being asked by a student to read the opening of a story they had written. I don't think they will ever realize how good it felt to be asked for comment on another author’s writings. 

     My life would probably not have changed very much if an author had spoken when I was a student. Life was very complicated for me at that time. It's refreshing to see kids who are enthusiastic about expressing themselves. I would like to think I had a positive influence on them during my short visit. If they took away a fraction of the good experience I had, I’ll feel I did my job. 

     This writing adventure I started has taken me to places I would scarcely have imagined. I hope these students find joy in writing and creating. Too many times success is measured in monetary amounts. As I age, I value experiences much more profoundly than money. What do people do with money? They pay to have experiences. Some of my best life moments have been things I have worked for, not the ones I paid for. I poured my soul into my book, and my life experience bank is being compounded with interest. 

     I thank Melissa Haskell Ayres and the Oak Hill School system for making me rich with experiences. 

Mark Evans

 


Comments

05/12/2016 7:45am

Topic which is discussed here seems very interesting because here is talked about our school life which is considered as the most beautiful time of our whole life. That’s why I know every reader will love to comment here for sharing his reviews and feelings about this topic.

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07/12/2016 10:43pm

I wish we had a writing session/ training such as those offered in our high school back then. It might have been the thing that would have helped boost my confidence in writing. I can understand the excitement the students must have felt to meet you guys. To have the opportunity to learn and discuss with actual published authors is definitely something. I bet the experience was as fulfilling for them as it was for you.

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07/14/2016 3:00pm

To tell you the truth, I think I got way more out of the experience than the kids did. I also wish I'd used half the good education that was offered to me when I was their age.

10/28/2016 6:14am

For me, high school life is one of the best moments I've ever experienced. When I was in high school, I think of life as easy as one, two, three. I was really happy during those days mainly because of the people I considered as my true friends. They are actually the reason why I never wanted to be college. They are the reason why I never wanted to move on. Unfortunately, everything has to end. Now that I am on my final year in college, I can't still believe that we will once again be on our way towards our dreams.

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10/28/2016 9:36am

I wish I had the same experiences you did when I was in high school. I did not get my GED until 2 years after I would have graduated. Collage was not in the cards for me. I'm a big self learner, and it has taken me this far, so I expect it to take me to the end,'so to speak'.

05/24/2016 11:04pm

I really want to say thank you for the information you have shared. Keep writing these kind of posts and I will be your loyal reader. Thanks again.

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05/25/2016 6:42am

Thank you very much for your kind comment. I feel very encouraged by your words. Thank you.

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09/05/2016 4:40am

Looking back, I think my high school experience was somewhat bland and normal. I never experienced anything grand or humiliating. I was just the bookish nerd who had a decent number of friends. I fell in love with my best friend and subsequently got my heart broken just three months within our relationship. I experienced dancing in the prom just like a regular high school kid. I flunked some quizzes and passed a lot of those. I discovered the wonders of science and loathed the concepts of mathematics. I understood how the English language works and what happened in the past.

Yes. My high school life was bland, but I was (fairly) happy.

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09/06/2016 2:43pm

High school seems to be the epicenter of growth for so many of us. Memories of who we were before that are sketchy at best. I think that's why we have such vivid thoughts of that time, good, bad, and everything in between. I'm glad your high school experience was less eventful than mine.

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