Dr. Kitty Ruth Norwood, who taught freshman Discourse and Literature, awakened in me a talent and love of writing.
As an extremely timid and completely unsure student from a small East Texas town, I felt totally out of my league. During the first class, Dr. Norwood had us write a short paper. I panicked, since I couldn’t really think of a thing to write. Yet knowing I had to put something on paper, I wrote. About 10 minutes before the class period ended, inspiration struck! I had to scribble furiously, knowing time was running out. And then I had two papers. What to do? I told her what I’d gone through, and she agreed to accept both, but would only grade one. My choice. Oh, Lord! I asked her to grade the last-minute one. Next class period, she handed out papers in a certain order: lowest grades first. I was terrified, knowing I was about to be humiliated. But she handed me my paper last. I made the highest grade!
From that point on, I consistently received the highest grade. And at the end of the semester, Dr. Norwood recommended me for my very first job, as a Tutor-Counselor for Project Upward Bound at SMU. I have never forgotten her gentle guidance. She instilled in me the confidence to follow my own voice, and for that, I am eternally grateful.