Deborah Davis Biography (Continued - Page 2)

At times my desire to create stories found unusual outlets. In 9th grade I wrote a science report titled, "The Sad Story of Bertha and Godfrey or What Happens When You Feed Thyroid Powder to Tadpoles.” It described an accidental overdose, mysteriously vanishing tails, and premature, gruesome tadpole deaths. I ended the report, "We can't dismiss the idea that perhaps Bertha died soon after Godfrey because of her sorrow and lonliness [sic]." My biology teacher wrote, "I can." Her comment stung, but I shrugged it off as a lack of compassion or maybe understanding. Bertha and Godfrey were my characters, after all; I knew them best.

Through middle school I created many stories and poems, including one Thanksgiving poem from the point of view of a doomed turkey, but in high school I was expected to write structured essays. I wasn’t used to outlining and organizing my thoughts before I wrote, and I struggled with topic sentences and focused paragraphs until one day my gray-haired teacher leaned over my shoulder, read my latest disastrous effort, and declared, “You don’t know how to do this.”

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