A letter leading to career change

By Staff
Rebecca James Franklin County Times
Writing has always been something that I have enjoyed. Just letting the words flow out of my pen, and onto the paper can always make the worst day better.
Up until 7th grade, I had never considered making writing my career. I had written a few short stories, and a few poems, but it wasn't something I could see myself doing for the rest of my life.
This all changed when my teacher, Mrs. Whittaker, moved to Kentucky at the end of the year.
She sent each of her students a letter. Her letter to me told me that she "had always loved my writing", and that she thought that I should "seriously consider a career in journalism."
That letter was long forgotten by the time I made it through high school and went on to college. My first year of college at the University of Alabama, I had it stuck in my mind that I wanted to be a band director.
After a miserable two semesters of next to impossible music theory classes and endless hours of practicing on my saxophone, I decided that a career as a band director wasn't meant for me.
To say that I was frustrated would be an understatement.
I was positive that being a band director was what I was meant to do, and thinking about just how tough a time I had with the classes really led me to do some serious soul-searching.
During this process, I happened to stumble across the long forgotten letter. After re-reading it, the idea struck me that perhaps she was right, and maybe I really should follow her advice.
I did take her advice, and it paid off.
After transferring from Bama to UNA., I changed my major, this time to print journalism, a move that I have never regretted. Four years later, I graduated from UNA with a bachelor's of science degree in print journalism.
Now, many years after I first received the letter, I see that she was right.
I have lost contact with Mrs. Whittaker, but I will always think fondly of her.
I'll never know just how she knew that writing was the career for me, but I will always thank her for it.

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