Sometimes it takes a good movie to motivate a writer to come up with a story line. Tonight I watched a movie about a great writer who could not get any work writing after one early career movie that was a big hit. He reluctantly took a job at SUNY Bingmington in the Wester tier of New York State. His original attitude was you could not teach students how to write, but over time he learned how to help his students and eventually started to teach. Unfortunately, one of his students seduced him early on and it came back to haunt him and he was about to be fire for violation of the University ethics rules. He apologized to the Professor in charge of ethics and made amends. The bottom line is he learned that he could write a second chapter to his successful movie and or write about a writer becoming a college professor and the mistakes and corrections he made.
I use this as an example because I was a teaching in public school for 31 years in Physical Education, Health Education and Administration. I retired and moved on to college teaching and Universities as an Instructional Technologist where I taught other professors how to use technology in the classroom.
My novel the Junior High is really a memoir of my years teaching in Junior high in New York, Rockland county. The sex, drugs, politics, students, hippies, civil rights movement, Title 9 Federal mandate in PE, Principals that cheated and stole school money are all real stories that I adapted in both a novel, and last summer in a script. I did a Sample script of 60 pages for an agent to read about life in the 1960’s and 1970’s teaching in a Junior high and the problems and solutions during those turbulent years. My point is like the writer in the movie the best book to write is one you lived or one you know the most about. I lived through the 1960’s and 1970’s when teaching and I witnessed romances among the faculty and terrible times of Union negotiations and threatened teacher strikes, Fake bomb threats almost every week, drug overdoses by students, politics of tenure, and finally retirement. Hopefully, some day my book or screen play will become famous like “Up the Down Staircase,” written by a substitute teacher in the 1960’s or “Blackboard Jungle,” also written in the 1960’s. Lastly, who could forget, “Welcome Back Kotter, on TV that lasted so many seasons about a special education teacher with a wacky class of students who did not want to learn.
The 1960’s and 1970’s were two decades unique in American history with civil rights movements and civil rights awareness. The free love generation had it’s impact also with mini-skirts and bell bottom pants in fashion. The drug generation began and was always in the media and everyone was experimenting with drugs except me and my friends. Maybe we were square and maybe not. I got sick smoking, so there was no way I would light up a weed. Pills bothered me too. I went to a Christian YMCA college, Springfield College and there was no drinking allowed on campus or drugs.
So I will keep on promoting my screen play, “Don’t be Square,” based on the book, The Junior High 1960-1970’s.
Thanks for reading.