Geneva Knutsen’s Class

May 1, 2013 | My Jottings

When I was a sophomore (age 15) at Covina High School in Southern California, one of my classes was Creative Writing with Mrs. Geneva Knutsen. She was a lovely, smiling, stately woman who wore a blonde wig, glided slowly and gracefully around the classroom, and spoke in composed whispers.

I have a notebook from that class that I’ve kept over the years, primarily because it makes me smile. It’s filled with the semester’s assignments, our attempts at sonnets and essays and contemporary poetry.

One day Mrs. Knutsen passed each of us a different picture or illustration clipped from a magazine. Our assignment was to write a poem or story to go with that picture.

Here is the illustration I was given (which I cut in two so I could fit it on one page, along with my typing from our IBM Correcting Selectric), and my poetic attempt that went with it (click to enlarge, and you might be able to click twice to enlarge more):


I have one word: sheesh.

Michael and I will be traveling soon, heading south the the place where I’ll have an MRI on my right knee in preparation for my upcoming surgery.

And guess what? Snow is in tonight’s forecast. It’s May 1st, and it might snow.

Have a wonderful week,


  1. Ganeida says:

    lol Luv it! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Just Julie says:

    Love to you and yours, Ganeida… xxoo

  3. Pat says:

    That was so cute! You were a writer in the making even then…

  4. Just Julie says:

    Hahaha Pat! Yes, in the vein of a very bad Dr. Seuss… xo

  5. Kay in Cornwall says:

    Talented teacher, talented pupil.

  6. Just Julie says:

    Kay – YOU are the poet around here! I’d like to see some more of your work! TY.. xo

  7. Cherry Knutsen Thienes says:

    Geneva Knutsen was my mother. Thanks.

  8. Just Julie says:

    Thank you for commenting Cherry! Your mom was a great and skilled teacher — we all loved her class. I remember wondering how she could be so calm and composed while we were all so antsy and anxious! My dad also taught at Covina High! Blessings on you… xoxo

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