Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Teacher's Impact

Michael Quintanilla of the San Antonio Express-News gave a very prepared and formal presentation. He began by thanking everyone that put on the conference but he did not stop there. He continued to ask all women at the conference to stand and he thanked them for just being women. He spoke of the qualities he associates with women. Michael gave a little background information from his past and told of all the women that impacted his life and helped him grow over the years. He jokingly told the story of his mother driving him to crime scenes when he was on the police beats because he did not have a car. His presentation then evolved into a reminiscence of his fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Lazaro. He quoted things she said and told of her high expectations. Mrs. Lazaro went to great lengths to push her students to do their best. Michael said that she had even given her fourth grade students senior level schoolwork. He also spent a lot of time describing the way she looked, dressed, and carried herself.
Michael also introduced some of his former classmates who shared in his admiration of Mrs. Lazaro. When Michael's presentation was over, Mrs. Lazaro's sons said their thanks. Her son, Vincent, said it was the best piece of journalism he had ever read. It must have felt great for Michael to hear how his writing had brought many people's feelings to words. Simple human interest stories that take almost no time to write can leave the biggest impact on people's lives. He finished it up giving advice to the other writers. He said not to be afraid to put lifestyle and past experience into the story to help the writing and to give it personality. He gave great advice for future writers and truly demonstrated the joys that can come from journalism.

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