W A R D U N I
V E R S I T Y|
& Voices IV
AN ANTHOLOGY OF VERSE AND
for Honors II
As I walked into my English class for the first time, he looked at me with disappointed and irritated eyes and said, very sternly, ‘You’re late’. There was no smile and the disturbed lines on his face confirmed that there was no ‘Welcome to Composition for Honors!’ coming in the near future. His eyes had a very serious glaze that was surprisingly intimidating. He didn’t start the class until I had sat down and was deservingly embarrassed. Then he proceeded to expound on the importance of being on time and how easy it was to disrupt the class if one was not prompt. After only five minutes of class, all I could think to myself was that this was going to be a very long and tedious semester. However, as the class proceeded, I slowly found that maybe my misfortune was a blessing in disguise.
I found out shortly that “he” was Mr. Braithwaite, my professor for the next three months. It was very evident that he felt very strongly about using language to its fullest ability. We spent most of the class reading aloud an essay that Mr. Braithwaite wrote. It spoke directly in favor of using the English language correctly in order to get one’s point across, which, in turn, gives one an upper hand in today’s society. Even as we read aloud, Mr. Braithwaite stopped students who read incorrectly. At first his interruptions seemed petty. However, after fully reading the essay, I found that he was simply getting his point across. He simply believed in the young, intelligent, black faces in front of him and he wasn’t going to accept anything but their best. In a society where most look down upon my generation, it is extremely refreshing to come across an older individual who has as much confidence in me as I do. It was then that I realized that maybe Mr. Braithwaite wasn’t a monster. He was simply, dare I say, a good teacher.
I have high hopes for this semester. In the few sessions that I have spent with Mr. Braithwaite, I have been extremely inspired. His strict policy, though very intimidating, is encouraging at the same time. I realize that I do get tired. I will also admit that it is as easy for me to slack off as it is for the next person. However, I have learned from the last two English classes that it is possible for me to be motivated and not feel the need to take the easy way out. I truly feel that I can “be all that I can be”.