Last week I honored the "good guys" who have surrounded me since birth. This week I want to send a shout out to mentors and role models.
One of the first I recall was a young woman whose name I can't remember, although I distinctly remember her face. I was a 17-year-old freshman taking my first English class. She wasn't much older, but much more mature. While good stuff in my world was "cool" or "neat," she found poems "delightful" and stories "charming." It was a paradigm shift: I was in the adult world now. I became more conscious of my vocabulary and word choice.
Eloise Bell and Louise Jensen were two of my role models for teaching. I encountered Eloise during undergraduate study and Louise in my graduate program. Both taught me techniques for reaching students inductively and both infected me with their passion.
A lovely lady named Nancy taught me how to teach my peers with the appropriate mix of confidence and humility.
When it comes to my writing, I've always said that when I grow up, I want to be Debbie Macomber. Debbie, bless her, has encouraged and mentored my work. She gave me a quote for my first series of romance novels (with Avalon) and is still doing creative things with her work that often inspire me to do better and achieve more.
Besides the people who raised me, I've been blessed to have some lovely, inspiring people in my life. I am grateful for each of them.