Finding My Passion
by Beth Kozan
I have two professional passions in life: adoption and writing. How I found my passion for adoption is something I’m working on for another project.
Finding my passion for writing started in high school.
An older girl rode the bus with me; she was in my Algebra I class, as a repeat student. Her peers were in Algebra II. She asked me to help her with algebra homework. We would do our homework together and finish it by the time we got to her stop because she lived closer to town than I did. It didn’t take long before this devolved into my doing the homework and her copying my answers.
Then she branched out to English homework: she asked me to help her write a one-page theme to turn in every other Friday. These were short and quick paragraphs; it was easy for me. When I said I was feeling a little bad about her handing in my work and claiming it as hers, she pulled rank on me: “Freshman! You’re supposed to do what I tell you to because I’m an upper classman!”
About three weeks in, the subject was a little more challenging: it was Fire Safety Week. What can you write about fire safety? I pondered this and took it home with me. I was a little bothered by what I was doing; I’d fallen in league with a kind of demon. I was being used and I knew it. But …
“I can write about anything!” I took up the challenge. I wrote a one-pager about Freddy the Pyromaniac Mouse who couldn’t help himself: Freddy loved fire so much that he had to keep striking matches just to see them burst into flame. He learned a lesson when he lit a book on fire and swore his days of striking matches were done. It took about four paragraphs.
It was cute. It was inspired. It was … too clever. The teacher asked her to stay late after class and asked her to define in her own words what “pyromaniac” meant. The jig was up! I was never asked to ghost write again.
Two years later I had the same teacher, Mrs. Adams, for junior English. I wondered if she’d call me out on it, but she didn’t.
She also thought my writing was above average.
Beth Kozan is the author of the book Adoption: More Than by Chance and the forthcoming Helping the Birth Mother You Know. Beth worked in adoption for 35 years and retired to write. She has many more books than these titles to write and will emphasize and explore the concept of community in her additional books. “Growing up in a close agriculture-based, rural community in Texas, I felt the comfort and bonds of caring for others which is often missing in our busy lives today. Exploring and building communities for today is my writer’s goal.” Follow Beth on Facebook or visit her website, where she reviews books and films featuring adoption.
Beth, what a fascinating story! A “wrong” situation revealed your great writing skills to you. Good from bad. You never know what will evolve in Life. But you took the high message, even if Heaven had to use Fire Safety Week to give it to you. Wonder/full!
I loved this story! It resonated with me because I had similar experiences in school–I was always “used” by other students who wanted to capitalize on my knowledge, but I was also the one who was usually caught and punished. What a nerd I was! At least your teacher had more savvy. Good for you!