Summary on Becoming a Writer

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  • Topic: Writing, Essay, Belleville, New Jersey
  • Pages : 2 (485 words )
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  • Published : June 1, 2012
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Summary: On Becoming a Writer

Growing up we all have that one person that influences us to be the person we’ve become or hope to become. For Russell Baker that person was his high school English teacher Mr. Fleagle, who inspired him to be a writer. For Baker, writing “…gave me the way of thinking for myself which satisfied my need to have an identity” (p.81). In his memoir Growing Up (1982) Baker stated he was worried that writing was not a real career and that it would be hard to live off of that income of being a writer (p.81).

Mr. Fleagle was known for being dull, boring, out of touch with the students and very proper in both his physical appearance and personality (Baker, p.81). Baker states that “Mr. Fleagle was notorious among City students for dullness and inability to inspire” ( p.82). Baker was ready for a long year of boring English and it seemed to turn out that way until he was required to pick from a list of topics for an informal essay. While skimming his paper, Baker didn’t find any topic to be interesting before he came across the topic “The Art of Eating Spaghetti” (p. 82). Baker then began to think about past memories sitting around the table eating spaghetti with his family in Belleville. At first Baker did not think it would be a good topic for an essay knowing that he would not get a good grade but, “It was a moment I wanted to recapture and hold for myself” (p.83). Baker had intended on writing another essay for class but by the time he was done writing his recalled memory there was not enough time left to write it before it was due the next day (p.83). “There was no choice next morning but to turn in my private reminiscence of Belleville” (Baker, p.83). Two days after turning in the essay Mr. Fleagle returned the paper’s back to all of the students except for Baker’s. Mr. Fleagle then proceeded to read Baker’s paper out loud to the class (p.83). Baker recalls the memory and said, “I did my best to avoid showing...
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