My Uncle Mike – The Most Plagiarized Man in My Life

A Happy Birthday to my favorite uncle on the distaff.

When my parents divorced when I was young, there has been one constant male influence in my life that I could always rely upon.

My Uncle Mike.

And it is no wonder that most everyday, I see some fingerprint of his in my life.

The same man who taught me to fish and back up trailers also taught me an appreciation for literature and fine rhetoric. He is every bit the reason that I became an English teacher, not just because he was once one but because I envied his love for his job.

I went to Wake Forest on his suggestion. He mentioned it. And it was the only school where I applied. Blind faith? Sure? Would I recommend that to others as a process for choosing schools. Hell no. But it worked for me, even if I never saw the campus until two weeks before I started classes.

Now I live two miles from Wake Forest.

During my sophomore year as I was taking a lot of science courses as a pre-med major, I somehow was able to enroll in a Shakespeare class with a bunch of senior English majors. I loved it.

He would call me every couple of weeks to see how I was doing and I found myself talking more about my Shakespeare class than anything else. He said that it might be telling me something. I declared English my major the next day.

When I decided to become a teacher, I went to him. I even got my job in Gwinnett County Schools because of him.

We even went back to school together to get our EdS. degrees.

I use the Oxford comma because of him, read books he recommends, and even call the chapter in As I Lay Dying narrated by Addie the greatest in American Literature because of him.

From him, I learned that good art is worth having on our walls and that books decorate any room well.

So thanks for letting me plagiarize you, Uncle Mike.

May Bear Bryant bless you.

You can go back to your nap now.