The 2nd Grade

My 2nd grade teacher,  Mrs. N. Anderson instilled in me the love of reading and writing.  She was amazing, Mrs. Anderson truly cared about her students who attended Willard Elementary School in Highland Park, Michigan.

 One time, I’ll never forget, the whole class worked on a book assignment where we made our own books. We made the cover, wrote the content and inserted the pages. The best thing, the best thing of all was that we shellacked the cover. “WoW”! my orange-colored cover was bright and shiny. “Will you play with me?” – was my title and the words of my title glistened from the bright orange jacket. We all wrote about 8 pages to go along with our titles and drew pictures with crayons and markers. I’ll never forget that assignment, the joy and excitement Mrs. Anderson brought to our class everyday when it came to reading and writing.

Before summer vacation, Mrs. Anderson did something else spectacular. One day, out of the blue, she passed out permission slips for a field trip she was planning for the class. She instructed us to read the slips to ourselves – Dear parent or guardian, Mrs. N. Anderson and her 2nd grade class will be participating in a field trip on the last week of May, 1970 (more information will follow before field trip). The class will be exploring the wooded area’s near Mrs. N. Anderson’s home in Farmington Hills. We will collect leaves and study the habitat in the area and write a report concerning the field trip before school lets out for the summer. The children will then have lunch with Mrs. N. Anderson and her husband in their home and discuss what we learned about the woods and the habitat.  After a few minutes, we all let out loud sounds of kid joy, we were all invited to Mrs. Anderson’s house to play in the woods. I couldn’t wait.

In a nutshell, I knew I wanted to become a writer.  The shellacking of my first book stayed with me throughout the years.  Visiting Mrs. Anderson’s home, meeting her husband and playing in the woods behind their home was a blast. But, what I most remember about my 2nd grade teacher was her love for words.

B. Knox

Belle Isle, My Favorite Place (written July 6, 2002)

Belle Isle to me is a jewel.  The water glistening from the river soothes my soul.  The winding roads that show off the natural wonders leaps out at me and demands my attention.  The people, the early morning people go about their business in perfect harmony with the island.

I love the water – and when I’m at my favorite place I take advantage of the stillness,  the calmness and even the interruption of the water as boats and ships sail by.  I find a spot and sit and look at Gods wonderful work,  I see the water,  as a necessity of life,  like blood running  through my veins.

When I cruise through the island,  I do so very slowly.  The winding roads lead me to a family of ducks making their way across the road.  Seagulls flying overhead land to find something to eat.  Deer can be found playing in the woods and making eye contact as soon as they spot me and fish are swimming through the river trying to avoid contact with a fishers hook.

The people who frequent Belle Isle in the morning come for many different reasons.  I spot a young couple jogging in matching outfits.  I see an elderly lady fishing from one of the piers that I like to walk across.  There’s a young man rollerblading with headphones on as he swished past me as I sit at the water’s edge.

You can’t put a price on my favorite place,  yet it’s free to all.  I truly believe where there is water,  there is wealth.  The birds and the other animals that reside at Belle Isle have known this since the beginning of time.  In a way,  the people,  the early morning people like myself know it to be true.  Belle Isle is a gift from God and if the city ever decided to put a toll on my favorite place – I would pay it,  gladly.


B. Knox

Integrating my Life through Words.