Rhetoric & Composition

In high school, I had the same English teacher, Mrs. Bernstein, for three years. Only it wasn’t listed as an English class; it was “Rhetoric & Composition.” A three-year college prep course that taught me more about writing and critical thinking than anything in my university education.

In Mrs. Bernstein’s class, I read more and wrote more than at any other time in my life. I still use the tools she taught when I read and especially when I write. I think she was even a little disappointed that I studied mathematics in college instead of literature or journalism.

Well, I’ve never gotten over what she taught me. So much so, that I recently had a dream that I can directly attribute to what I learned from her.

You want to know the dream? Sure you do. I’ve recently read Pride & Prejudice, Ahab’s Wife, and Memoirs of a Geisha. In my dream, I was doing a critical analysis, comparing and contrasting the themes of these three novels – focusing on the main characters’ tragic flaws, their pursuit of the romantic ideal, and how they overcame the obstacles to their happiness.

It was all very logical and compelling. I woke up this morning with a new understanding of what attracted me to these three works.

Thank you, Mrs. Sandy Bernstein!


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