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.

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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