“Ms. Neville, it’s the saddest day ever!” – (former student who just dropped in to share the news)

NO! My favorite living author has died!

I think I will be in official mourning all summer. Bring on the black veil.

If it weren’t for Ray Bradbury, I’m not sure I would have become an English teacher. Reading Fahrenheit 451 during my own sophomore year of high school opened my mind up to amazing new worlds and ways of understanding literature. I have been sharing that with my own students ever since I student taught in 2003/04.

Of all of my weird “English geek” quirks, the oddest may be that I have sent Mr. Bradbury a Halloween card every year for quite a while. While this sounds vain in the face of his passing, I suppose I have to let the dream of getting a response from him die now.

It must have been amazing for him to live long enough to see so many of the things he dreamed up for his stories become reality — ATMs, wireless communication, reality television…

It’s also amazing for me to consider how someone I never actually met had such a profound influence on my life.




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