She used to frighten the hell out of us with her somewhat forceful demeanor, loud voice and sharp eyes that caught even the slightest indication of mischief in the making. 18 years later, after a *strange dream of directing a play in which an old friend of mine was the actor, I wake up to the realisation that she was probably one of the best teachers I ever had in my entire life.
Miss Eliza was both my class and English teacher in Year 5 (Primary school - I was 11) and she was the kind of teacher who saw potential in you and made you see it for yourself as well, to the point where you'd even start doing things you never knew you could do. I remember the time she forced me to write a play (and act!!) for my class for an inter-class competition which we won eventually and after a few tweaks (addition of a few annoying characters and a dance sequence to Ice Ice Baby, yeah zOMG!), was used as a performance to entertain the parents on our annual prize giving ceremony day, or the time she talked me into participating in the Commonwealth English Essay competition. I didn't win this, but I got 'commended' and a certificate. It was then when I realised that I could actually have fun writing, and started some half-baked personal projects.
(My secondary school didn't place much emphasis on us taking part in writing competitions outside the school - the internet was more of a luxury back then, so I could never get the titles for the competition if the school didn't help out - which they didn't)
Last night, I stumbled upon a website that got me a wee bit more excited than it should have, going by the name Script Frenzy. It's a contest similar to NaNoWriMo, except instead of writing 50,000 words in the month called November, you write 100 pages of **scenes and dialogues in April (or as they say, 30 days) The prize, as usual is self satisfaction, bragging rights and the possibility of being one step closer to having your very own play being acted out. Plus I think I'm slightly less busy in April than I am in November (Well sometimes you just never know, but I'm staying positive for the moment) And despite the fact that my only experience in writing a play (we called it drama) was that when I was 11 and touched school-kid issues, I think I can do it again. After all, there should be a reason why I suddenly thought of Ms Eliza after all this while.
* The dream was probably an extension of my excitement from last night when I stumbled upon the Script Frenzy website and got a tad bit over-excited. My 'actor' friend also is an aspiring writer - we're not in touch anymore either, unfortunately
**I still need to read up more on this