…..or How Well Do You Know Yourself?
Mrs. Warr was my high school English teacher and today I would like you to get to know her through the Tickle Trunk Questionnaire.
I had many memorable teachers over the years, right up through high school, university and into post grad but Mrs. Warr is probably the only one I am in contact with. Indeed, I think it a testament to her popularity as a teacher that she is still in touch with many of her students. I wonder if she had any idea back then just how effective she was at stimulating our curiosity and tapping our creative juices? If she did, she is certainly modest about it, which is another of the many reasons why she is a great person.
I still recall back in grade 8 when Mrs. Warr introduced us to different types of poetry. Indeed, I still recall the first poem: David by Earl Birney. Until that point I thought that poems were just entertaining verses that rhymed. David had the hair on my arms standing on edge and I recall the classroom disappearing as I devoured the poem, likely a puddle of drool on my desk when I finished, and then went right back to the beginning to read it through a second time. I think it was not just the poem, but Mrs. Warr’s discussion and analysis which really opened my eyes to the power of words. Did my class mates feel the same way? I have no idea! She went on to teach us about lyrical poetry by using popular songs and she introduced me to the work of Shakespeare – I recall reading scenes aloud from A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream in class.
Mrs Warr also led the drama club and she presented many a fine opportunity for me to scratch my theatrical itch. She wrote the play which got me noticed at a drama festival and which led to my first paying job as an actress (my favourite line from that play was a quote from Genesis 27:11: And Jacob said unto Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my brother is a hairy man and I am a smooth man.) She tried to help me with my audition for National Theatre School but I didn’t have sense enough to let her. I was doing Viola, from Twelfth Night, but I was too inhibited to do it front of her; I wanted it to be perfect before she saw it and was too stunned to realize that she could help me make it perfect. So instead, I stood in our damp unfinished basement next to the washer and the stinky floor drain and went over and over the lines but never got any better. I digress. Thinking about Mrs. Warr has stirred up a plethora of memories but I won’t bore you with them all today. Here, meet her for yourself:
1. What is your first memory? Cutting my own hair. I was two-years-old. My eldest sister was going away to Toronto to work. I was upset, took my mother’s sewing scissors and gouged the front of my hair.
2. What is your favourite flavour? Raspberry 3. If you could have pursued another profession other than the one you are in, what would it be? I would not have chosen anything other than teaching high school students. 4. Which talent would you most like to have? Some musical ability such as singing or playing the piano.
5. What quality do you most admire in a man? Honesty A woman? Honesty A child? Wonderment
6. Who was your favourite Sesame Street character? Characters. The peanut gallery people. Sort of the Greek Chorus of Sesame.
7. Who is your favourite writer? It’s a poet – Gerard Manley Hopkins. 8. What movie have you watched the most times? Little Big Man 9. What would be your ideal Sunday afternoon relaxation? Sit by the ocean or sit in a boat on the ocean.
10. What is your favourite word? Pristine
11. If you had to choose a pen name what would it be? Keep Her (Keeper)
12. If you had to choose a porn name what would it be? Tummy Yummy
13. What would you do on an ideal date? Drink, Eat, Love a Lot, Drink, Eat
14. What famous piece of art would you most like to own? Any one of Norman Rockwell’s (here’s more than one all in one) 15. What do you consider the greatest invention of your lifetime? The indoor toilet
16. Where do you feel most at home? Near the Sea 17. If you could invent something, what would it be? A bed that does not sag, yet is not too hard
18. If you could ask the queen one question, what would it be? “Don’t you wish you were a commoner?” (Click on link to see the Queen looking common – didn’t wish to get sued for copyright infringement)
19. What song defines your life? Both Sides Now 20. What is your mother’s best trait? Calmness Your father’s? Ecumenistic (Mrs. Warr’s father actually Christened me when I was a baby. )
There is so much more to this lady than you can see here. I also know her to be a great cook, a great quilter, and a stellar Scrabble player. She was a great teacher who could see our potential through all of our messes of teenage hormones and mal-adjustements. She acknowledged and validated our particular talents and encouraged us to develop them. But most of all, she was real.
Now I’m off to read some Gerard Manley Hopkins. Judy Parsons 2015 WordPress is being quirky today and fooling around with my layout – apologies if things are out of order.
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