Teach Me to Right

Elizabeth Anne Moore doesn't want to be remembered as the Ev Mecham of schoolteachers

NT: That's an amazing story.

Moore: It is amazing! But you see, I've always fought for my rights. I was a child who said, "I will not go back to my parents. I will take anonymity first, I'll jump into the abyss, I will gnaw off my leg in a bear trap. I may spend the rest of my life seeking the phantom leg, but I won't go back." I said, "My parents are awful, and I hate them!"

NT: And I understand that you've written a book about this experience, and now the press is all over you because you keep mentioning the book every time you're interviewed.

The heck with the hickory stick. Elizabeth Anne Moore wants justice.
Emily Piraino
The heck with the hickory stick. Elizabeth Anne Moore wants justice.

Moore: I think I came off as only caring about the book. But why would I teach special education all these years if I only cared about my book? Who would take a mouse ball to the back of the head just to sell a book? No! I was very hurt when the [media] showed me that way.

NT: But when you were interviewed on the six o'clock news, you turned to the camera and announced that you're looking for a literary agent!

Moore: It's true. I was naive; I didn't know how to promote my book. I can understand that I would be criticized for that. But I don't want to be remembered as the Ev Mecham of schoolteachers.

NT: So, you e-mailed me a letter to the editor that you plan to send to the Arizona Republic, complaining about a story they published about you. You asked me to copy-edit it.

Moore: Oh, yes!

NT: Here it is. I've marked the grammar errors in red. You have a dangling participle here; the comma goes inside the quotes; you need a preposition over here. And don't use the phrase "hone out an identity." It sounds funny.

Moore: Thank you! Thank you!

NT: I've never had a teacher ask me to proof her writing before. I mean, you're an English teacher.

Moore: I am an English teacher! If I can't find a teaching job after all this mess, well, I'll find something to do.

E-mail robrt.pela@newtimes.com

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