Ellen Frazer-Jameson has written for newspapers and magazines all over the world. A former BBC broadcaster and published author, she is British but lives in the US. Ellen has interviewed hundreds of celebrities, showbusiness stars, sports personalities, politicians, members of the British Royal family, and one American President. Ellen’s passion is helping people with real-life stories share them.
As a Story Terrace writer, Jacob interviews customers and turns their life stories into books. Get to know him better by reading his autobiographical anecdote below.
Head in the Clouds-Feet not Firmly on the Ground
“Ellen has far too much imagination,” wrote my junior school teacher in an end of year report. “That girl hardly seems to live in
the real world.”
Creativity and free expression were often not highly prized before the current enlightened realization that everyone has the right to develop their creative talents and display their individuality.
Lockdown produced entire nations of previously undiscovered Tik-Tok dancers, virtual choir singers, artists, cake-makers, poetry writers, and citizen journalists of all ages and abilities.
My junior school teacher had been reacting to an essay I wrote based on pre-set choices. To merge and confuse the story of a ginger cat and mix it up with the moustache of a ginger haired man tickled my 9 year old sense of humour. Of course the ginger cat lived on the man’s chin.
The teacher was not amused. Fortunately a colleague took a different view. I lapped up the praise when told, “If you work hard and apply yourself, you may become a great writer one day.”
Throughout my childhood, teachers, parents and other adults made sweeping statements which they probably little realised were likely to affect my whole life and inform my opinion of myself.
Even today I still take the line of last resistance as I tell myself: “I’m hopeless at maths; can’t draw a straight line; no good at sports.”
Maybe I am not top of the class in those activities, but I am numerate and run my own business; have drawn theatre set designs and sketched costumes and at sports – oh, no don’t even go there. Every pair of trainers I buy, remains unused and pristine at the back of the wardrobe.
Perhaps when we are in a position to influence young hearts and minds we need to be conscious that one throwaway remark can seriously affect their life choices and career.
With that in mind, I asked our resident six year old going on 26, what she wanted to be when she grows up.
“There’s only one thing anyone wants to be these days,” she informed me. “I’m going to be a YouTuber with a global fan base and awesome viral content.”
“Good luck with that,” I encouraged her, “but remember you still have to live in the real world.“
She raised her eyebrows and asked, “Where’s that?”
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