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The Women in Literacy and Life Assembly
of
The National Council of Teachers of English
Current Editors:
Hannah Furrow hannahf@umflint.edu
Edna Brabham brabhed@auburn.edu
Volume 11
Fall 2002


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Journeying Beyond the Classroom

Drue Jo Gillikan (Retired Representative)

I'm going into my fourth year of retirement. Is retirement all that it's cracked up to be? Well, for me it is because I'm still here six years after having cancer. I also found paradise on earth, a little place in Vermont, with a garden and mountains, which I appreciate so much more when I go there from my apartment in New York City. I do have the best of both worlds. Those 34 years of teaching English helped provide me with a good physical, mental, and spiritual life. In short, I have inner and outer resources, which is what dealing with words all those years helped me to do. Remember, our greatest asset is the mind, and the written, spoken, and heard words are what help humans to live the best of lives. That's why English is the most important subject to teach. Without words, what can anyone do?

This month I am going to my 50th high school reunion and the teachers I remember most are my English teachers. They gave me the word skills that have gotten me through. If you can read, you can teach yourself anything, understand anything, just about do anything. So, here's my salute to English teachers--to you and to me.

Reference Citation: Gillikan, Drue Jo. (2002). "Journeying Beyond the Classroom." WILLA, Volume 11, p. 19.


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