During my senior year in high school we were asked to choose a topic for a research paper. I loved all things Renaissance, so I decided to write about what it meant to be a “Renaissance Man.” (An example of a Renaissance Man: Leonardo da Vinci, a person who was talented and knowledgeable in many areas and made contributions as a painter, inventor, engineer, philosopher, and more.) My teacher Mrs. Roby at Hewitt-Trussville high school was not a fan of my topic! Little did she know that I AM a renaissance woman – and that I would continue to develop these many facets of myself over my lifetime.
I've recently learned another word for this: polymath – which isn't nearly so romantic a word! (I'm pretty sure it was the romanticism that Mrs. Roby objected to... sigh. Though wiser now, I will forever be a romantic!) Also, in this age of specialization, it seems polymaths are much less common. Most advice given to young people suggests they find their “thing,” and that they should find it early and stick with it. Well. That may work for some. But for me, the world is far to big and wondrous for me to stay in just one lane! I contain multitudes, and all that... I want to experience it all!
Anyhow, I always got good grades on papers. I shudder now remembering those formulaic assignments... I love taking chances with words and form and content. It's one of the reason I love poetry so much!