Teacher (Part 2)
From the first day that we entered her domain, we realized that Mrs. Elizabeth
Parks truly cared about each individual student; and as we progressed toward
graduation we recognized that she was willing to do anything in her power to
ensure a quality education for the students attending Richland High School.
We learned immediately that during her classes was not the time to participate
in foolishness; you had better come to class prepared to perform and behave.
Every week, during English class, she required a well-written, current event
We were encouraged to watch the national news, read the newspaper and peruse
magazine articles because on Friday morning we assembled a black pen and blank
pieces of paper and prepared an essay from memory. After a few weeks of the
exercise, we became subscribers to US News and World Reports, listened intently
to the national newscasts, and understood the importance of taking notes.
Another memorable activity was the completion of the weekly quiz in the Reader's
Digest. We learned to spell the uncommon words correctly and memorized the
definition of the word; we quickly learned the difference between a definition
and an example. With Mrs. Parks as a mentor, our vocabulary expanded and our
awareness of the world around us increased. She used words like factious,
unyielding, and inappropriate and expected us to completely understand the
Those of us who took a foreign language not only learned how to speak French, we
learned how to conjugate verbs in French. During our second year French classes,
we only spoke French from the beginning of the class until the end; if you spoke
in English, points were deducted from your daily grade.
More about Mrs. Parks in part three. .