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I remember:
It may come as a surprise to many, but Miss Shouse was one of the five teachers that were and are my all time favorites. Most might consider her stern glare and hard, unforgiving manner as not endearing attributes.
I can't pin down exactly when I realized during my senior year I liked her and enjoyed her English Literature class ... but I did. I do remember when I was having trouble reading Chaucer and struggling with middle-English I confided in her one day after class that I just didn't understand what I was reading. She kindly suggested I check out a recording of The Canterbury Tales from the public library. She said if I would read the text while I listened to the spoken word I would begin to "hear and understand" the language. It turned out she was absolutely right. What seemed like a foreign language to me before, when only words on paper, was comprehensible when spoken. She also suggested the class listen to recordings to familiarize ourselves with the language of the Shakespeare plays. Her simple suggestion resulted in what would become, for me, a life-long love affair with Shakespeare and the beauty of the English language.
By the way, although I am now quite comfortable reading Shakespeare, I still thrill to the sound of his magnificent phrases when rendered as dialogue and not oratory. If I had a dollar for all the times I have listened to Much Ado About Nothing reciting the dialogue along with the actors I could afford to take the whole class on a cruise for our next reunion.
What a gift you gave me Miss Shouse. Thank you.
Shannon Jones
I wrote a poem when I was in high school and I asked Miss Shouse if she would read it and make corrections or offer some suggestions. She read it and seemed to like it as written but said she would like to have Miss Neville read it. She said if Miss Neville thought it needed it, she would make corrections or offer some suggestions. I have always treasured the note Miss Neville wrote after reading it.
 Shirley Silkensen Harless
Shirley's Peom and Ms. Neville's Note
You will find both on Shirley Silkensen's personal page.  Go to the Southeast Lady's page and click on Shirley's picture.
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