Billie Silvey
Three English
Teachers
September 2006
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Three English teachers have been
influential in my life, teaching me
English and so much more.
Lella Foster Moudy--My high
school English teacher stimulated
my love of words.

In addition to taking us through
grammar lessons including
diagramming sentences and the
standard reading texts, she
required that we memorize
additional poetry and read extra
books.  Fulfilling the basic
requirements gave us a C in the
class.  Pages of outside reading
and lines of poetry recited could
bring the grade up to a B or an A!

She impressed me with her
concern, not just about English,
but about each of  us as
individuals.
Dr. James Smythe--My major
professor in college trained my ear.  
Reading Chaucer in the original middle
English, with a hearty appreciation and a
spirited expression, he taught me to
listen--to cadence, accent, the pure
sensual ring of language.  And he taught
me to appreciate the English literary
canon.

He was so aware of each of us and our
responses that more than once he called
on me before I could ask a question.  
(That could be because I scarcely have
what you’d call a “poker face.â
€�)

Here he is shown preaching for a local
congregation.
Kathryn Silvey Hall--My English teacher daughter taught for
11 years in public high schools in the Los Angeles area,
converting gang members, taggers and students with few
options into readers bound for higher education.  After
receiving her master’s degree, she began this year to
teach in the community college system.

Kathy expanded my taste in literature to include minority
voices in this country as well as around the world--including
(I’m embarrassed to admit) women!
What Is Teaching?
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