#1 NYT bestselling author Linda Lael Miller

Here’s what happened yesterday…

I was all ready to write.

And then I was tackled by the flu bug that’s been after me since before I left for Florida.  This time, I lost the battle–ended up being a pajama-clad layabout, all the day.  Today I’m better, I am happy to say.

The weather has changed again–as it will do, especially in spring.  :)  I keep reminding myself that showers bring flowers and, most of the time, the tactic works. 

I have yammered on about “Downton Abbey”, haven’t I?  It’s the first TV series since HBO ran “John Adams” that could hold my ADD-challenged ability to concentrate for longer than a few minutes.  Honestly, I’m so sick of “reality” shows–my goodness, if that’s reality, we’re all in a heck of a lot more trouble than I thought.  It’s no wonder people all over the world think we’re crazy (and that’s putting it at its kindest), if they see the “real” housewives of this place or that, rolling around on the floor of some elegant restaurant in a cat-fight.  Imagine, if you will, how such an image might affect a person in a remote third-world village, with one TV set within a hundred-mile radius and no other access to the outside world.  For this person, just surviving is a monumental challenge, because where they live, the water is bad and food is scarce and medical care is virtually non-existent.  Yet, here, on this tiny, flickering screen, are well-dressed, well-fed people–Americans–behaving like mud wrestlers.  Yikes.  What an impression, and how very sad that the image is so wrong.  REAL Americans, most of them, anyway, are generally hard-working, good-hearted folks who live quiet, decent lives.  I guess my point–and I’m sure there is one in here somewhere–is that maybe the people in certain parts of the world wouldn’t hate us so much if they knew what we’re really like.

Maybe I still have a fever.  :)  Or maybe I just needed to rant.

Thanks for your patience.

The new contest topic: Teachers.  Who was your favorite, and why?

38 comments to “Here’s what happened yesterday…”

  1. Sue Mccormick
      · March 20th, 2013 at 3:12 pm · Link

    This question doesn’t count; teaching is what my family does, mostly. My niece is the fifth generation of the family to be in the classroom. So I would honestly have to say “my family” (my father’s parents, my parents, my sister and her husband — i don’t count — my niece and her husband; not listed my grandmother’s father, whom I never met). Then there are all the teaching friends of my teaching parents; I learned so much from them. And so on. Almost every day encounters within our family do you remember “teacher so-and-such” saying …?

    The reason I’m posting at all is to thank you for encouraging us to think about this. These days we seem to do lots of “mentor” bashing. It is so nice to have you suggest that we do some admiring here.

    Sue McCormick

  2. Teresa
      · March 20th, 2013 at 3:12 pm · Link

    Linda –
    You really must watch “Heartland” a wonderful tv show from Canada that is Horse based!! I have to buy it online as we do not have cable and that is only other way to see it here in the USA =-) feel better the sun is shining here in the midwest but it is only 32 degreeds out there – so much for Spring in Indiana –

  3. Hilda
      · March 20th, 2013 at 3:28 pm · Link

    Linda, what are your flu symptoms? Are they the same each time? It seems worrisome that you are so susceptible. I hope you are able to recover once and for all! Teresa, thank you for mentioning HEARTLAND. I saw one episode and then a part of another one and really enjoyed it, but I wasn’t able to watch regularly. I’ll check into ordering it from amazon too. Linda, thanks for mentioning teachers. I recall two teachers who really influenced me in what I ended up doing for a living. I had another teacher who continually and gently built up my confidence at a time when I was regularly ridiculed by students (because of my looks & weight). How do you pick a favorite? It brings to mind the wonderful movie with Sidney Poitier, “To Sir With Love” and later on, also the Michelle Pfeiffer movie “Dangerous Minds.” And, did you ever see the movie with Jim Belushi, I think it was called “The Principal” or “The Teacher” or something like that? They all had the same theme: teacher works in inner-city school and changes the lives of “bad” kids. All 3 were wonderful. Wow, I got off on a tangent! Sorry about that. Have a wonderful day and enjoy any sunshine that you get!

  4. kathy copeland
      · March 20th, 2013 at 3:34 pm · Link

    Hope you feel better soon . Well lets see favorite teacher; It would have to be Mrs Kaminski 5th grade she opened up the world of books for us.At the begining of the year she ask us if we could read about anything what would it be.A week later she had a few titles for each of us, and they matches each of our interest.All of a sudden it wasn’t something wierd we had to read about, it was what we wanted to read about.Opened up a whole new world for us . Plus she was not only smart but so kind always positive never negative .She changed our life.

  5. Anne Little
      · March 20th, 2013 at 3:40 pm · Link

    I don’t think your ranting. Reality T.V. surpassed actual reality long ago. They (participants), no longer give factual insights to individualism or lifestyles (at least not in an anthropologic text. Nor in any real or believable sense) but instead perform in front of camera’s in an effort to increase ratings or income. This can not be construed as reality, call it what it is, staging, acting, etc. Those watching have every right to be angry or disatisfied with the content. It is an insult to those of us who do live real lives (or possess more intelligence then the average gnat). Which is why those chosen to participate in these reality programs often show pronounced stunted growth in emotional and mental maturity. Personally I have learned to use the off button.

  6. Janice Hougland
      · March 20th, 2013 at 3:48 pm · Link

    My favorite teacher was my English teacher when I was a high school freshman. Most of my classmates detested her for her straitlaced manner, her lack of smiles, her rigid code of honesty and hard work. But I would catch a little twitch in her lips from time to time when I knew she was trying hard not to smile or laugh at some of the students’ antics. And when you did the hard work she required of you, you felt so good at your grade and results and she rewarded you with approval and recognition. An old-fashioned teacher with scruples and great teaching methods. I learned a lot while studying under her.

  7. Nyoka Smith
      · March 20th, 2013 at 4:00 pm · Link

    Linda, hope you are feeling much better. I agree with you on some of the reality shows. I think most of the shows feature armature people acting out ‘ real ‘ life as they see it. Performing for the cameras. Not to say that all of the shows are that bad. Take Duck Dynasty… about a Louisiana family, made famous by building duck calls… being a southerner (MS ) I can vouch for their show being realistic. It is also faith based …
    My favorite teacher would be Mrs Helen Beeman, my home ec teacher. She was the best. I never saw her get upset or raise her voice… the gals in my class worshiped her… she was the best!
    I just finished reading your book ” Just Kate”.. I liked it.. it was a little different from what I am used to in your books.. I am sure it was a re-release as the copyright is 1989. Guess it was before the ‘ hunk cowboys ‘ come into play!!!
    Hope you continue to improve..
    God bless

  8. Linda Haynes
      · March 20th, 2013 at 4:05 pm · Link

    This may sound strange, but my favorite teacher put the fear of God in me each day we had class. She was a tiny woman, with this beak like nose, but the minute she closed the door, the boys in my 8th grade English class would shake in their boots. Believe it or not, I never had learned how to identify a noun from a verb, and just forget about diagramming a sentence. But by cracky, I learned, my dearies! And eventually went on to become an administrative assistant writing letters with all kinds of nouns, verbs, and pronouns!

    • Rebecca aka Becky Hicks
        · March 20th, 2013 at 4:25 pm · Link

      If you read my entry (#9), you’ll understand why I identify with you & your fav teacher. My 8th gr Eng. teacher taught me to understand grammar/sentence structure by diagraming sen- tences, ad nauseum. (I’m NOT a good speller; they’re born, not made!) She was a very tall, large lady with tight little blonde curls. We were ALL terrified! But, learned! Remember the (little short, round) senior Eng. teacher NOBODY wanted because she was hard, demanding, and put up with NO ONE’S foolishness? That was me. I made mistakes, wish I’d done more, but seldom leave the house that I don’t run into one of my “kids.” I still love ’em. Yours does, too. If you see her, tell her “Thanks!”

  9. Rebecca aka Becky Hicks
      · March 20th, 2013 at 4:05 pm · Link

    We don’t watch much tv, mainly news, sports, a few dramas–Justified, Chicago Fire, Person of Interest, Longmire. Never thought about the world’s view of Americans via “reality tv,” BUT I agree. Yikes!
    TEACHERS: I’m prejudiced re good, great, and poor; here’s why. My husband spent 25 yrs with 8th graders & American history, teaching our Constitution for six weeks. He quit coaching so he could be in the classroom full time. His kids went to high school with a good understanding of who we are & how we got there, AND how to be good students!
    I spent 45 yrs, 12 at middle school & the rest at high school, last 20 or so with 12th graders & British lit. I’m a 4th generation teacher, with more than 100 yrs behind me. I taught “in context,” the whole culture–history, art, science, govt, geo- graphy, etc. that LEAD to the literature, so it all made sense. Few students left without loving something–Beowulf, Cant. Tales, Hamlet, etc.
    MY FAVORITE TEACHER was a history prof at Trinity University, TX, who told all the stories that make the past come alive. He looked like Santa Claus & was kind & demanding. And, he taught me how to take notes, the old way. I took every course he taught, and I just realized (I’m 68, what does that say?) he was my subconscious model

  10. Norma Stanforth
      · March 20th, 2013 at 4:30 pm · Link

    Hi Linda. I sure hope you get to feeling better, it seem like you have not been feeling well in a while,i pray you get to feeling better soon.
    My second grade teacher was the best, you know the first, second, and third grade is the grades that make an impressionable mark on your life and whether you make it or not, which now also includes kindergarten. My second grade teacher was a very passion about teaching, caring, kind, but strict, she was a teacher that you could learn what she was teaching you. That was my favorite teacher. God bless you and i pray that you get to feeling better!
    As always your friend
    Norma Stanforth

  11. Rene Yates
      · March 20th, 2013 at 4:32 pm · Link

    Who was your favorite teacher and why? That would be Mr. Gremillion, my High School Government teacher. He was a retired US Ambassador and had lived all over the world. He was my favorite because he genuinely cared about his students and made a subject I had previously found very boring, very interesting. I think it was because of his experience inside of US Government it was all more real and not so theoretical.

  12. Jeanne Shaw
      · March 20th, 2013 at 4:50 pm · Link

    I AM a public high school Spanish teacher. My favorite teacher had to have been in grad school at WVU. Mr. Renahan taught a linguistics class in Old Spanish – how the language evolved. He could tell us what the Latin word became in French, Italian, Spanish, sometimes Portuguese and other languages. He was fascinating to listen to and managed to psych us up to learn more while making it fun. Wish I could say I do that in my classes.

  13. Leanna
      · March 20th, 2013 at 5:06 pm · Link

    My favorite teacher was my first snd second year frrnch teacher in high school dhe was so patient and helpful. She never got frustrated ehrn we couldn’t get our accents right.

  14. Kathleen O
      · March 20th, 2013 at 5:19 pm · Link

    Sorry the old flu bug got you… But one thing we know about the flu, is that you will eventually feel better…
    Keeping you in my thoughts.

  15. Pam Brewer
      · March 20th, 2013 at 5:56 pm · Link

    My favorite teacher was Mrs. Mary Lonneman, 4th grade. She taught all of her students a prayer that I still say to this day, 43 years later! I also taught it to my own children who as adults say the prayer too, and I have been teaching it to my 6 year old granddaughter. Whenever you hear a siren say “Jesus, Mary and Joseph I pray, bless them on their way.”

  16. Terry Rollins
      · March 20th, 2013 at 6:01 pm · Link

    Hello… Loved your blog and you are sooo right about reality television… along with half the shows out there now. And it is too bad about the way the world views us sometimes, but thankfully their are good people still out there like you said, just doing their best, trying to get by and love America for all the things that make it great… The flu is definitely a bummer :( but laying around in my pajamas with a good LLMiller book is one of my favorite past times! :) My favorite teacher is not one I knew personally, but made a huge impression on me none the less and that would be Annie Sullivan. She opened the world for Helen Keller with her determination to never give up on her until she made that connection and this is one of the things that made her such a good teacher and is the reason that I am a special ed teacher for the visually impaired…. Lastly, just wanted to let you know that I am a HUGE fan of your McKettrick series, especially the first ones High Country Bride, Shotgun Bride, Secondhand Bride and McKettrick’s Choice… I would love to see their family tree so I can be sure who belongs to whom! Keep well and keep writing because you’re brilliant at it! Sincerely, Terry L. Rollins

  17. Connie Johnson
      · March 20th, 2013 at 6:14 pm · Link

    I would have to say Miss Schneitz was my favorite teacher. She changed my life, I failed 3rd grade, the teacher I had that year should have retired years before. She was really awful. She failed half the class ever year. This kept up for years. The school finally brought in Miss Schneitz to take the kids for their second time of 3rd grade, amazingly we all passed with flying colors and all kept our grades up after her class. I had close to straight A’s all the way through high school.

  18. Lois Rotella
      · March 20th, 2013 at 6:31 pm · Link

    Sorry the flu finally got to you. :( I hope you feel better real soon.
    As for my favorite teach it would have to be Miss Rogers. She was my first grade teacher. She taught all the necessary things you learn in first grade but when she read to us the words came alive. I have been reading ever since and that was 56 years ago. I have a picture of her and me together. I will never forget her.

  19. Sal
      · March 20th, 2013 at 6:32 pm · Link

    These days my favorite teacher is Miss Lang, my brilliant first born daughter :) When I was young, it was Mrs. Rukke. I believe she was my fourth grade teacher in Northport. She had very cool hair :) Wow, I think I just found her on Facebook! Haven’t thought about her in years…

  20. Gloria
      · March 20th, 2013 at 6:44 pm · Link

    Linda, I pray you are feeling better by now.

    I have 2 favorite teachers…the first one was my 9th grade Home Room teacher. She taught Home Economics, also, and I learned to sew and dress tastefully from her. With only about 5 pieces of clothing, she could have a new outfit every day. Of course, it was a lot of years before I could dress tastefully, and that was when I made my own clothes, thanks to Mrs. Mary Mason White.

    My other favorite teacher is my son’s widow. She went to school while he was off at war and became a teacher and took more classes to get a better degree, and she taught Special Children for a few years, and now teaches first grade.

  21. Janet Adkins
      · March 20th, 2013 at 6:44 pm · Link

    My favorite was my second grade teacher Mrs. Cliother. I remeber her as a very caring, loving and wanted to make sure every child could read. She passed away just a few months ago and I am sure she is up in heaven teaching anyone and everyone to read!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Janet Adkins
      · March 20th, 2013 at 6:44 pm · Link

    My favorite was my second grade teacher Mrs. Cliother. I remeber her as a very caring, loving and wanted to make sure every child could read. She passed away just a few months ago and I am sure she is up in heaven teaching anyone and everyone to read!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. robin h
      · March 20th, 2013 at 7:38 pm · Link

    I sure hope you feel better soon. I didn’t know how difficult this would be. My first grade teacher, Mrs Oubre was wonderful. I just saw her last weekend at the grocery store. I am Catholic, and must mention Sister Joel, who was the principal of the school when I started first grade. She also taught me math and religion in eighth grade. I still remember so many things that she taught us about The Mass, our Church, and how to do small things to quietly bring us closer to Jesus.

  24. Juanita Rice
      · March 20th, 2013 at 8:02 pm · Link

    That’s so easy. It was Miss Luella Crane. I had her for the first four grades of my school life. (Yes, it was an 8-grade, two-room school.) :) She was a superb educator and the perfect example of the spinster school teacher…never married, lived with and took care of her parents until they died, was always treated like a mother on Mothers’ Day. She had the patience of all saints, the proverbial eyes in the back of her head, a kindness rivaled by none, an awareness that few people ever have. When she was gone her mold was broken and I doubt there will ever be another like her.

  25. Pat
      · March 20th, 2013 at 8:10 pm · Link

    Hope you get to feeling better.

  26. Billiesue Sanders
      · March 20th, 2013 at 8:26 pm · Link

    My favorite teacher is Dr. Richard Cortner at the University of Tennessee. As a freshman, I had political science from him and learned how to take notes, how to think, and how to write. He was kind, but challenging to this little country girl. Later, I studied constitutional law with him.
    I appreciate him so much.

    Billiesue Sanders

  27. Emily
      · March 20th, 2013 at 9:42 pm · Link

    So sorry you go the flu. Hopefully you are better as each hour passes.

    My husband and I never watch reality TV. Never have, never will. Not our cup of tea!

    As far as teachers goes, my 4th grade teacher taught me the love of ancient history (Egypt, Italy, the Vikings etc.) and also about the famous painters of that time. What a wonderful teacher she was and I learned so very much. I was blessed to have her!

    Please feel better. I know we are all praying for a speedy recovery! :-D

  28. Maureen
      · March 21st, 2013 at 8:24 am · Link

    A woman after my own heart. I hate reality shows. There is nothing real about them. Just about networks saving money on actors and studios.

  29. Marie Jones
      · March 21st, 2013 at 8:57 am · Link

    Aw Linda, I hope you’re feeling better. That flu is going around Spokane. Hubby just got over a bout with it and lets face it, when men are sick they act like……Oh nevermind.
    Reality TV is anything but real. Thats why I don’t watch much of the tube. My nose is usually in a book. He watches the History & Military channel and we watch the news. Other than that, BLAH.
    As for teachers, my fav was a nursing instuctor in collage. She would make us kneel on the floor to make sure our hems touched the ground! And nail polish? OMG! NEVER! But she had such compassion for the patients and she really knew her stuff. After graduation I was working in a hospital and she was there with her students. My cap had fallen off (this was the old days!) and she saw I wasn’t wearing it. She yelled “MARIE! WHERES YOUR CAP?!?” I jumped! Then remembered I was no longer in school. I smiled at her and said ‘sorry.’ She said to me ‘You earned that, you worked hard to get it. Wear it with pride. Always.’ Then she smiled and walked away. A better nurse you will never find. God rest her soul.

  30. mary klemp
      · March 21st, 2013 at 9:57 am · Link

    mrs. coon, she was my k thru 2nd(all in 1 room) she always smiled and gave enough aura off to let you know she was in charge and you better do your work and behave. she was a beautiful woman. she always knew who i was after years away from school. it amazed me with all the kids she had taught over the years.

  31. Carole Sklenar
      · March 21st, 2013 at 10:54 am · Link

    I sure hope you are feeling better soon. And I totally agree with you about the image we give people in other countries, especially third world countries. It’s no wonder they hate us so. With the reality shows and all the blood and guts movies that Hollywood seems to love to put out. And that’s my rant for the day as I just had to vent a bit on that subject too. 8-O

  32. Debbie Lilly
      · March 21st, 2013 at 11:11 am · Link

    My favorite teacher was the one I had in fourth grade. It’s funny that she is my favorite because she put in the corner several times during that year. I honestly don’t remember why I had to go there. She was a very strict teacher. She used a ruler to correct your hand position when you were practicing writing. The spelling test always included a sentence that I feared would never be written with all the right words. She read stories to the class. She read my favorite “The Secret Garden” that year. I found out later that the second grade teacher and my favorite on were each teaching half of the third grade materials. No wonder she was so strict with the class. I honestly can not tell you what made me like her so much. So, there you have it!

  33. Lea Williams
      · March 22nd, 2013 at 12:51 am · Link

    My 2 favorite teachers were my first grade teacher. No kindergarten then and I was small for my age, and very timid. Her name was Miss Blandeau. She was a soft spoken lady that really drew me in. I could read already and she encouraged that and I still read everything I can get my hands on. She was such a blessing and got me off to a good start of loving school.
    My other favorite was my Senior English teacher, Mr. Dowdy. It was an awful year because that is the year my father died. Mr. Dowdy let me miss school and helped me keep up with my work. He is who encouraged me to write and helped me many many times. He was kind of a rough fellow but it did not intimidate me much because he was so nice to me. I will never forget him saying – come on Lea, you can do it. Its in you, let it come out. He helped me get into college and I grieved when he died of cancer the very next year.
    Teachers have my heart – they lead me and guided me and really taught me even when it was tough. School was a joy.

  34. Sarah Stanley
      · March 22nd, 2013 at 1:59 pm · Link

    Hi! Okay, I have a favorite teacher who affected me in such a way that I think of him often. Sometimes I wish he could see me now– just so I could say, “Thank you. I have done so many things in my life. I have made so many mistakes, but I paid attention, I accepted responsibility, and I used them to make a difference in the lives of myself and others!”
    In second grade, I moved through 3 different school districts! Can you imagine how hard that is on a 7 / 8-year-old? Now, combine that with a childhood of abuse, divorced parents, family scandal, and destructive psychological games. It was potentially a recipe for a disaster: a troubled child destined to failure– a product of circumstance . . .
    However, I finally ended up in Mr. Beaudoin’s class at my final school district in Waterboro, Maine. I was timid, lacked confidence, and had NO friends. I had never had a male teacher, but Mr. Beaudoin made me feel at home. I was never intimidated, although my trust in men failed to extend past my father and grandfather. Instead of allowing me to merely exist in my own isolation, he encouraged class participation (not at all something I wanted to do), and pushed me beyond my perceived limits. By the end of the year, I was in the top reading group and advanced math group. Yet what I am remembering him so dearly for is the lessons he gave me in human decency and ethics.
    He was so positive, direct, and yet passionate about “finding the right thing to do, or the good thing, or the just thing”. He taught me “they might not all be the same thing; in fact, they might be the hardest thing, but that thing which affects people the most is the most important thing.” I remember this seeming like a riddle to me. What did he mean “They might not all be the same thing?” What’s good is right, and what’s right is just. Isn’t it? So I thought, as an 8-year-old.
    Years later I have made many decisions, and am a wife and mother. It has been a learning experience, breaking away from what I experienced as a child to being a parent; and I remembered the lessons of my teacher—“The right, the just, or the good thing is not always the same thing, and sometimes they might be the hardest thing . . . but it is that one thing which affects people most that is the most important thing.”

  35. Eleanor
      · March 22nd, 2013 at 8:07 pm · Link

    Yammer on… DA is worth any and all yammering!!!!

    Feel better!!!!

  36. Bridget
      · March 22nd, 2013 at 9:56 pm · Link

    My favorite teacher was my 2nd grade teacher, Miss Milford. She taught me how to read and shared her love of reading. I still think of her today as my favorite!

  37. Ngozi
      · March 25th, 2013 at 12:34 pm · Link

    My favourite teacher was Mrs Elege. She was my primary 4 teacher. She helped me break the habit of chewing biro while writing which actually slows me down and overcoming this habit made me into a fast and consistent writer. She was a deeply religious woman. She taught her students a psalm from the Bible(psalm 23), and to this day, I always say it whenever I wake in the morning and before sleeping at night.

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