After Bryant writes a first-person essay for The Players Tribune about passing Michael Jordan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, he thanks his high school English teacher Jeannie Matriano for develops writing skills.
I had a really really good creative writing teacher in high school…She always said you keep swinging the axe to chop the tree, eventually the tree is going to fall. It might not fall when you want it to fall. It might not fall on the second or third swing. But eventually it will fall. That’s the kind of determination you must have.
Mastriano describes Bryant as an “above average student” that normally earned high B’s on his writing assignments.
I always told students I want writers to bend to their will and write what you want to write about. Don’t let the prompt kill your joy of the moment. You’re not going to get the minutes back. You may as well as say, ‘I’ll write about this.’
He sees learning as empowering. He listens very intently. Could you imagine what the world would look like if everybody lived that way? Everybody would be so much more pleasant and the work would be good work.