Mary Louise Bean was a Creative Writing teacher in my high school who truly helped shape the person I am today. In general I was like most high school students when I first took her class; however, with time, her personality, her teaching methods, and the activities she would have us do I began to see a different world evolving around me. The world itself wasn’t changing, but rather it was my ability to see the world that was becoming more refined. Through poetry and literature, I began to see the world in metaphors and soon I was able to describe that same world I had begun to see in figurative language. Life began to have a whole new dimension of richness of which I had been completely ignorant.
Mrs. Bean would have us read poetry, and than she would ask us questions that would stretch our minds. After we had analyzed these poems she would have us imitate them; steal their words, their grammar, their syntax, and their ideas and re-write our own poems. She created an environment in which everyone was comfortable with each other and no one was afraid to share. She was very flexible in her lessons in that she would speak on whatever was important to us as a community and as individuals for that very day. Her lessons served as an applicable theme to whatever we wanted to talk about, no matter our topic. She taught me to ask questions, because revelation and intuition are ignited by asking the right questions. She taught me to see Life through the skills she was helping me obtain.
This I believe that that which makes us human is not found in banking, law, or politics; however much they are needed to sustain Life, but instead that which makes us human is in the Arts. Those visual, musical, social, literary, and culinary arts are what manifests the humanity in us. For me I believe that continuous curious discovery of one’s daily life is what makes Life just that, Life. There is hope and happiness in the beauty of Life. I can no longer go anywhere without something to write on, because Life will allow me to see her intimate beauties in the most random moments and I have to write them down.
Mrs. Bean helped me to refine the way I saw the world and Life. Life allows me to see her intimate beauty because I’m willing to write down what she is willing to let me see, and those beauties give me hope. And it is the expressive way in which those beauties are described that consist of the arts, and it is those very arts that manifest our humanity. This I believe.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.