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SHIRL, MY ENGLISH TEACHER

Dear Lauren,
Yes...I am Dr. Shirley S. Malcolm...formerly from Sunset High School where I helped open Sunset as its first department chair of English, and temporarily chairman also of Social Studies!   I have a hunch you must be in charge of some portion of the hard work of planning a class reunion, and I had better say quickly that my health does not normally allow me to travel without  assistance, so I have had to say "No" more often than not.  I really was sad to miss the one at the Jenkins Estate for the class of 1957, but the terrain would have been impossible.  A falling apart spine makes things difficult.  But, lest I make you feel sad...I have excellent pain control, thanks to a wonderful neurologist.  I also have a circle of wonderful friends who serve as my chosen sons and daughters, and thus I am wonderfully blessed with a "family" which somehow keeps growing!
 
I have quite good memory still.  I have an idea that if I could locate the Sunset annual, I would recognize your picture!
I'll let you know if I do.  I was especially close to Terry Lash and his family.  In fact Terry's father, Joe, was our private site inspector of the building of my husband's and my dream house on our 38 acres in the Helvetia area.  My beloved husband, Dr. David Malcolm, died in 2002, here at our home, "Beaumont", as he wished. I hope for the same.  We were together 53 years, and both of us devoted 35 years to teaching when the profession still meant something and "unionization" and politics had not come to help ruin the profession.  We also cared for his parents and great Aunt for 26 years, so they were our "children".
 
Those were thrilling days in the Beaverton District!  George Russell and Bill Logan were a great team of leaders who chose others like me who they felt could help create a new high school for a growing District.  Had I not been fortunate enough to win 1 of 5 National Fellowships from Delta Kappa Gamma, the national honorary for women educators, I would undoubtedly have stayed at Sunset for a very, very long time!  It was  very, very hard for me to leave!  But I wanted to learn more!  Dear Herb Armstrong, in my mind one of the truly great school superintendents, helped counsel me to make the decision to attempt to earn my doctorate in English at the UP. of OF.  It was truly painful for me to leave Sunset.  It took me 10 years, teaching at Pacific UP. and commuting to Eugene to finish the damned degree!  But I did.
 
I have been in touch occasionally with BHS alumni from classes of '57, especially.  I treasure my Beaverton High  years from 1954 to 1960 too.  Those six Beaverton years were foundation years for my 35 year teaching career at 3 universities and my last assignment: 15 years at Lincoln High School, Portland, and 3 years at Cleveland High School, Portland, where I transferred to help create new approaches to teaching English ,plus starting Portland's first computer Writing Lab.  It took me twelve more years to establish a computer Writing Lab at Lincoln!  I came back from retirement to train English teachers and develop the Writing Lab when a grant I helped write before I retired came through and  helped fund the lab.  It was exciting to start new programs!  I am also very, very happy that The International Studies Center magnet at Lincoln which I founded and directed is still alive today!  Of course, now computers are central to every school curriculum!  As they must be.  American education practices MUST CHANGE dramatically and soon if we are to prepare more adequately our young for an ever more difficult and troublesome future.  I hope I am preaching to the choir when I say these things.
 
I am now 85 and a half years old, and physically decaying!  But I am thankful to still think well and I usually read 5 books a week.  Plus,I  have learned to program my DVR for good entertainment!  While I do use my PC, I do not enjoy it as I once did.  Arthritis can be nasty. 
 
Lauren, I hope you will feel free to quote from my rambling email...I will be happy to hear more from you and others who were my students.  My home address is 13303 NW Bishop Rd., Hillsboro, OR 97124-8112. My phone no. is 503-647-2459.  My hearing is not the best now even with two hearing aids, but the speaker phone does help me!

 

Posted on Monday, July 1, 2013 at 03:44PM by Registered CommenterLAUREN PAULSON | Comments1 Comment | References16 References

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Reader Comments (1)

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November 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBen

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