I remember the first day I realized I could be a writer. It was in grade 10 English class with Don Hackle at Jasper Place High School, October 2000.
It was the day of our big Romeo and Juliet essay, and like every day, I would go, get absolutely obliterated stoned, and show up to the only class I gave a shit about besides mechanics… English!
I remember walking in from the freezing cold and I could hardly see 2ft in front of me I was so wasted. I staggered into class 15min late(as usual) fell into my desk and tried to focus on the words moving on the page.
Before I could focus my classmate, Charlee, siting right next to me whispered “pssstt… Carolynne….. CAROLYNNE!”
“Carolynne… your WREAK like weed!”
And I said ” oh shit, thanks” and in a vein attempt to remedy the situation, buttoned the pocket it was contained in (like that helped alleviate the stench of skunk from the room)
I proceeded to read the assignment and all I remember is that it was about the Apothecary’s speech from Romeo and Juliet. When I began to write the words were floating up and down and I truly do not remember what I wrote.
I left the class that day thinking “well I failed that,” and waited anxiously the 3weeks of marking to be told, what I’m sure would be something along the lines of “lay off the dope carolynne.”
When that day came along we all st in our desks in hackles class, and he began speaking while holding our essays,” Ok. First of all, we have a HUGE problem! More than half of you haven’t paid attention to a thing I’ve said and these are terrible!…” He trailed off about how terrible and then,” but someone in here, wrote something amazing,” my thoughts… “Ya some kiss-ass”…
“CAROLYNNE SCOFFIELD wrote a 97% essay”…. As he said that my heart stopped… “What?” “Me?” Did someone see how wasted I was and take pity and write my name instead of theirs?
But he went on to read it, and as much as I was shocked I’d created that while absolutely obliterated I knew that was my voice speaking. Everyone looked at me in shock, even I would’ve looked at me in shock.
I believe it was sent to the U of A to be used as an example essay in finals.
So I figured, if I could write that without even trying…. What else could I write?
Thus began my writing streak….