No One Took An Interest

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic

When I was a kid in high school, I attempted to write several unassigned original compositions which I gave to my English teacher to read. I loved to write, even back then. They were made-up stories of places and people and situations I had just imagined in my mind. I was so proud of my work, and waited to hear back with anticipation and eagerness, like any young kid would. But nothing ever came. There were no words of praise or encouragement. No critique. No comment. And I was embarrassed to ask, thinking she would tell me it was a waste of my time, and hers.

NO ONE TOOK AN INTEREST

By Al Garcia

When I was a kid in high school, I attempted to write several unassigned original compositions which I gave to my English teacher to read.  I loved to write, even back then.  They were made-up stories of places and people and situations I had just imagined in my mind.  I was so proud of my work, and waited to hear back with anticipation and eagerness, like any young kid would.  But nothing ever came.  There were no words of praise or encouragement.  No critique.  No comment.  And I was embarrassed to ask, thinking she would tell me it was a waste of my time, and hers. 

I now think back and wonder what would have happened if someone had taken an interest in me?  I wonder what would have become of me if someone had read my stories way back then.  Instead, I just torn up my stories, and shopped writing my fantasies and my imagined stories.

Without any encouragement or praise, I ventured out on my own, taking journalism classes and working at a local paper for a time.  Eventually, I joined the military and was sent to the Defense Information School in Indianapolis, Indiana, a multi-service public information training center and school.  There, I learned the finer points of newspaper writing, editing, photography, copy writing for television and radio, newspaper layout and a heck of a lot more.  I fell in love with writing, and writing became my passion.

I still think back to my high school days, however, and feel a bit sad that no one took an interest, or gave me a chance to possibly excel at something that I might have been good at.  Instead, I just floated through my high school experience, envying the white cool kids who got all the attention and all the praise, approval and acclaim.  That was high school way back in the 1960s.  And now, I better understand why no one took an interest in who I was or who I could ever be.  You see, I was poor, I was brown, and I was simply tolerated -- not accepted or included. 

I was a brown-skinned, black haired, brown eyed, big eared, glass-wearing kid, who just didn’t fit into the fair-haired, blue-eyed, picture-perfect smile mold of the affluent, privileged and advantaged students that seemed to overshadow all academic and social aspects of or high school life back then.  I, you, see, was of Mexican descent, sometimes referred to back then by “real” white Texans, as just another “wet back,” although I had been born at Edinburg General Hospital, in the USofA.  That didn’t seem to matter much back then. 

It’s amazing what you learn about your life after so many years have passed you by and you’ve gotten older and wiser.  I now look back and understand why certain things happened and others could never be.  It was all about who I was, and had nothing to do with my intelligence or my talent or my abilities.  It was a different time and a different place in our history back then.  But all this time, I had thought it was just because I did not have the intelligence, the talent or the ability to fit in or succeed.

And I was not alone, I know.  To think how things would be different now for so many of us brown-skinned kids back then, had someone just taken an interest in our potential.  Where would we all be today, and how would we have changed the world?


Submitted: June 12, 2021

© Copyright 2021 A.Garcia. All rights reserved.

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