I got an email this week from Mr. Smythe, my high school English teacher who read about SPITFIRE in a newspaper clipping someone mailed him. He’s proud of me.
You have to understand — Mr. Smythe wasn’t just any teacher. He was that teacher. If you’ve survived high school and lived to tell about it, you know what I mean. The teacher who makes you believe you can do better. The teacher who makes you work harder than you’ve ever worked and makes you love every minute of it.
Long before I met Harry and Hermione, Mr. Smythe introduced me to Hermia and Helena, Lysander and Demetrius, and their magic was no less charming. Mr. Smythe had a way of bringing those old stories to life, making them feel as urgent and real as the upcoming prom. And when we wrote for his class, we wrote with passion. Language mattered. It mattered with an intensity that burned long past the end of 9th period…and burns to this day. Thanks, Mr. Smythe.