Between the Lines

Belize 2008 (photo credit: Christian Espinoza)

After leaving University I didn’t think I would be writing essays again, but these past few days I have written several for English and Drama studies, and this week I have Science and Maths coming up. None of these essays are for me, I am writing them for other students. I am a volunteer writer at my son’s High School during exam week.

I have never volunteered myself for writing so I was a bit nervous. My role as a writer is to simply hand write what is dictated to me, make no corrections, and be as neutral as possible. My first student was a big and gentle giant, he must have stood over six feet tall, seventeen years of age, and very driven. By the end of the essay we had some time to spare and my student began to tell me about his part time job where he works four days a week. The conversation developed into his future goals, his parents’ expectations, and his deteriorating health condition. It was an insightful experience.

We live in our heads most of the time, myself included. By being a neutral observer and writing what was dictated to me, I stepped into the student’s shoes for a brief moment. No judgement, no assumptions.

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.

I remind myself every morning: Nothing I say this day will teach me anything. So if I’m going to learn, I must do it by listening.

– Larry King