Sunday, October 2, 2011

Maureen Haltiner - Poet, Author, and Teacher

A good friend of mine, Cal Noyce passed along to me the other day, an invitation to a poetry reading by my former AP English Teacher from West High, Maurine Haltiner. The flyer brought back a lot of memories, mostly good about my experiences with both her and literature.  Having grown up in a home where my mother held a Masters Degree in Creative Writing with her Bachelors in English and Theater, poetry and literature flowed abundantly in the walls of our home.  I've always enjoyed it but not exceptionally good at either reading it or writing it.  In fact, in most of my advance testing for college, including my AP exam, I never could test very well and despite much higher scores in other areas, it always brought me down in my overall score.

However the lessons I learned in Ms. Haltiner's AP English class were more than simply learning the advanced pieces of literature from around the world.  It had a lot to do with keeping commitments, meeting deadlines, and living with integrity.  In fact, the only incomplete I received in High School, came from her because I had failed to finish an assigned reading in her class during the peak of basketball season.  I eventually finished the book, did my report, and received an A- or B+ for that term.  My siblings have often remarked that it was really Ms. Haltiner that prepared them for college, where all too frequently if you missed deadlines, failed to turn in papers, it was only you who really paid that price, not the teacher.  Of course Ms. Haltiner's lessons were much more civilized and compassionate than college, and we will often be grateful for it.

Maurine Haltiner retired a number of years ago, and I occasionally run into her from time to time.  To her credit, while my hair seems to be going white, she looks about the same, perhaps a little more of life shows, but always courteous and interested in my well being.  Cal showed me some of her works which demonstrated her continued interest in literature and using her own talents in the expressions which tell of life's stories.  If your schedule permits, you should set aside the evening of October 20, 2011, a Thursday evening to attend her Poetry Reading at Alpine Art, 430 E South Temple.  RSVP to  Unfortunately, I may have a conflict, and can't make it, but I would like to be there.  While I'm interested in hearing her materials, it is the quality of the individual which is the real draw for me.

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