As a child, I was fond of telling dramatic stories. In fourth grade, I wrote a one-act play called “Tornado.” Four sisters lost both parents in a devastating natural disaster and were dispersed around the country only to meet up in their 20s at a Broadway audition. I directed, produced, and starred in this basement masterpiece with a forced cast of cousins and my pain-in-the-butt little sister. My play didn’t become a hit, but I learned that while working with others isn’t always easy, it’s an integral part of creating good art.

In the fifth grade, I wrote an inspirational poem, “I Think the Lord has Called Me to Serve.” It was mature, metaphoric, and lyrical and attracted Sister Perpetua’s attention. She urged me to join a convent. I was appalled that she was so literal in her interpretation of my figurative work.

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Holly Rizzuto Palker


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