Assignment #4: Hall of Champions
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” ~William Arthur Ward
The Creative Champion Hall of Fame
(an induction ceremony)
Ladies and gentlemen I am proud to host the first ever Induction ceremony to the Hall of champions! The inductees are both intelligent and love giving individuals who would make any artist proud to have known them. A relative, a mentor, a teacher–three individuals who have not only inspired this artist to creative new heights but have also supported her on her mission to create and inspire the world. Without any further ado let the ceremony begin.
To the late Edward King, though unable to attend in physical presence, may his spiritual being accept this honor wherever he may roam. It seems like only yesterday when we first met, though twenty-three years have passed. I still remember the first time you laid eyes on me. Though only an infant the warmth you held in your eyes as you held my wriggling newborn body still flows through my veins. I am part of you and I carry this legacy on with the greatest of prides. The words you spoke over me, part of my imaginative memory, have been told to me through out my life. “She is wise. She is special. She is capable of great things.” Your cancer ridden body, near death, sensed something great within me. Dear grandfather, it is with pride that you are the first inducted to my creative well-being. You sensed the greatness within me, and knowing that keeps me journeying toward the greatness you beheld. You are with me every step of the way and it is because of you my pen name bears your family name. Wherever you are, I hope that you are proud of me. Every day I walk with the light I first found in your eyes. I will not let you down, because in essence to let you down is to let myself down. May your words be a prophecy of sorts as I continue on this journey, and may your spirit always be there to guide me and envelop me in warmth and love, especially in times of hardship and darkness. Thank you for being the first to hold me and for showering me with love and light from your sea-faring eyes. I love you. Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for the late Edward King.
The next inductee came to me in the troublesome times of my middle school youth. Carefully watching our fifth grade snack time production of the Wizard of Oz, a script we collectively wrote from memory, you carefully took in our performances. You noted that my cowardly lion performance was a creative and talented endeavor. A few years later, I found myself sitting in your English class, eager to learn and grow. You recognized my talent for interpretation and deep thinking. You pushed me to audition for my very first play, your production of “Our Town.” Never will I forget climbing that ladder and not pretending to be, but actually being Rebecca Gibbs, the little girl enthralled with the great wide universe. Over the next few years you groomed me for acting school. You picked me up when my self-confidence would start to sink. You kept me going, even though I wanted to quit. Because of you, I was able to see my very first written play be put into production. Because of you I am able to say I am an artist. Thank you for being the shoulder to cry on, the ear to listen, and the man who filled my father’s vacant shoes. Without you, my life would have gone in a completely different direction. I know this now, and I thank you for the direction you chose to push me in. Thank you Mr. Minutello, from the very depth of my depthless artistic heart. Ladies and Gentlemen, the man who is responsible for my creative self-worth!
Last but not least, to the teacher who found me sitting in her creative writing classroom. Still a psychology major at the time, I bit my lip when you asked if any of us wanted to be a writer. I had wanted to be a writer but I had given up the belief I would ever be able to do so. After our first assignment, a poem about a life changing moment in our lives, you came to me before class started and handed me my poem with a long letter attached. It was the first letter of praise I had ever received, and I still have it to this day. You encouraged me to seek out publication, the kind of publication that begin writers careers. You told me I had talent. You were impressed with each of my poems, you fell in love with my short story, and you encouraged my writing every day. You helped make each poem better. You walked down to the chair of the department and spoke endlessly of my talent and creativity. You made me well-known to all of the professors of the English department, a fact I learned once I changed my major and found that they already knew of me. Because of you my faith was restored in my writing potential. Thank You Jessica Williams. Becuase of you I found the courage to disagree with my father’s harsh criticisms and pursue my dream of being a writer, openly. You said to me “You don’t have to become a writer darlin, you already are.” Words that will be with me for a long time to come. Thank you again. Ladies and Gentlemen, the teacher who inspired me to follow my dream!
To my inductees, I am proud to add you to my hall of champions. You bring a smile to my face whenever I think of you. You are what I fall back on when my confidence begins to diminish and my hopes and aspirations seem futile. You are my safety net. I hear your voices, I see the hope in your eyes, and once again I am alright to stand and continue on in this journey. Thank you for being part of my life. Thank you for being my creative inspiration. And most importantly, thank you for pushing me toward a life full of creativity and art.