Paper: An Analysis of the Influential Figures in the Memoir of Carl T. Rowan

According to the dictionary, childhood is defined as, the state of being a child. As a child one must rely on others for guidance. Children need guidance in order to become successful; they need encouragement, direction, love and understanding to grow strong. These qualities are essential to a child's growth with the help of individuals who exhibit these qualities children develop maturity and responsibility. It doesn't matter who teachers them; lessons from childhood are taught in different ways, and one may learn them from many different people. In his memoir, Carl T. Rowan brings to life for his readers an influential figure from his childhood. Ms. Bessie, his high school teacher was characterized as petite yet “was a towering presence in the classroom." This “towering presence” taught him to excel to be proud and self determined. He relied on her guidance, to lead and motivate him to success. For example, when he was concerned about losing the respect of his peers for speaking Standard English, Ms. Bessie informed him that he should refuse "to lower your standards to those of the crowd" Ms. Bessie was the primary source of his determination. She showed him that he could talk Standard English and still have the respect of his peers. This was proven when he had made first string on the football team. Ms. Bessie taught him that “what you put in your head ca never be pulled out by the Ku Klux Klan, the Congress or anybody." She stressed the importance of a good education, and how his peers will respect him more for that. She led by example an exemplified everything that she taught him and her other students. Everybody's childhood stage of life is a learning and development process. Every child learns in their own special way. In Passage number one the art teacher used the child's imagination to help him/her learn. Ms. Bessie in passage number two taught her children wit a strong towering presence. In the two passages the children were taught in two totally different styles. Nevertheless the results of both styles of teaching were positive. Children need guidance in order to become successful in life. The art teacher used the imagination in order to prove how valuable life is. Ms. Bessie used her storing personality to show how important a education is. Both teachers gave their students some of the guidance needed for them to become successful. ...