Lynna Clark: A memorable teacher

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 13, 2022

Did you have a favorite teacher in school? I did. Mrs. Cowan, our chorus teacher was amazing. But she scared the life out of me.

First of all, I took her class as an elective because I wanted something easy. But mostly I figured chorus would be one class where I could goof off with my friends.

Boy was I wrong. That woman was tough.

But she taught those of us who had very little vocal talent to sing the harmony part. I was definitely in that category and was happy to be placed in the alto section. When it came time for our exam, I was not happy to discover that we would be expected to perform in front of our peers. Oh, we could have one or two classmates sing with us for their exam too. But holy cow I was nervous.

Together me, Rhonda Parks and Renee Overcash sang the very somber folk song “Blowin’ in the Wind.” These were the days of the Vietnam War. The song spoke of young girls crying for their dead and something about flowers and the answers to life blowing in the wind. The only problem was that I got so nervous during our performance that I started laughing. It was Mrs. Cowan’s fault. She accompanied us on the piano and played so fast and loud I could not keep up.

Me and the girls had practiced together without music and were used to dragging out each note with sorrow. I think she just wanted to get it over with. But when I started laughing, though she shot daggers from her eyes, I could not stop. My poor friends got tickled too and the three of us laughed until Mrs. Cowan banged out the last note.

I just remember hurrying off the stage with tears running down my face, probably my legs too, from laughing so hard. It was not pretty.

I ended up taking chorus the next year too. Bless Mrs. Cowan’s heart. That year she taught us a song taken directly from the Psalms. I still think of her when I read it.

“Create in me a clean heart O God. And renew a right Spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence. And take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation; and uphold me with Thy free Spirit.” Psalm 51:10-12

At the time I did not know the Lord. But singing that song stirred something inside. The seed was sown. A year or so later I trusted Him to seal me with His Holy Spirit.* And often I thank the Lord for the patience of a very faithful teacher.

Ephesians 1:13,14; 4:30 is a great place to read for more about the Holy Spirit.

Lynna Clark lives in Salisbury.

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