Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

My Mentor Elaine

Writers block. I just hate it and have had it for the last week. It sucks. You just cannot figure out what to write about. Or, as in my case this week, I just feel uninspired. It's crazy, because I have lists upon lists of topics but nothing is just jumping out at me ... but wait, my memory has traveled back to someone very dear to me.

My mentor and former teacher from elementary school, Elaine Arbo, once told me that when you don't know what to write about, just start writing and see what comes out. You may find something. She is write ... LOL, I mean right. Ironically, I typed "write" when I meant the other word. I think I will keep it that way. :)

Elaine was my 2nd grade teacher at Wenonah Elementary School. She was a slightly eccentric and extremely creative woman with these huge glasses and brilliant silver gray hair. She was such a wonderful influence on me. Starting in 4th grade, Elaine taught a program on creativity for "gifted" students. I hated that term, by the way, "gifted." I never felt "gifted," just more like "geeked." I always thought that the eight of us were just kids chosen to this program to express ourselves in a creative outlet. It was voluntary. Elaine encouraged us to follow our passions, create projects, and write.

We brainstormed about ideas, came up with solutions, and even competed in a sort of competition called the Olympics of the Mind. I credit Elaine with fueling my passion and love of writing, art, and all things creative. Those 3 years with Elaine influenced me more than anything else save my parents and family.

The class was called ACE. I forget for the life of me what it means. If I remember, I will add a comment on the bottom. Anyway, we met a couple times a week. Elaine checked out progress on our projects. We were worked on these projects outside of class as well. My "project" spanning 3 years were stories on a grand race of friendly, clutzy aliens. I also wrote other stories surrounding my pets. I still have all of them to this day, tucked away carefully in a chest. My first pieces of writing are sacred to me.

The class ended when I moved onto 7th grade at Gateway Regional High School. Even though our contact is rare, I feel Elaine became a friend for life. I sometimes reach out to her and often send her updates on my blog. Our last week of ACE, Elaine took us to lunch at the Happy House Chinese restaurant near our elementary school. Even as 6th graders going onto 7th grade, I recognized the bittersweetness moment for what it was. Those were three extremely special years.

Thank you Elaine, for so far, a lifetime of continued writing and creativity.


  1. I remember those stories you wrote. Really!

  2. I was so happy when I checked my email this morning and saw a message from Elaine! ACE, she wrote, means Activating Creative Energies. Our teachers selected us and Elaine was our fearless leader! :-)

  3. @ Marji,
    Thanks, I may have a book reading on them one day at a Barnes and Noble near you. LOL.

  4. How delightful to read about your experiences with Mrs. Arbo! I wrote a blog post about her as part of my 30th birthday celebrations a few years back: