Thinking back, was there a teacher or class that had a great influence on you?
I really don't think there was. I liked a lot of teachers and classes, but none really stick out in my mind as a big "influence".
LOL. I've just remembered something that's kind of opposite of the question... In seventh grade I was in ELP (extended learning program where kids were pushed harder than the regular curriculum). I believe we went to ELP for English and Social Studies??? I can't remember for sure except for English. I remember we had to do a "creative writing" project. You'd think that that would have been a big influence, seeing how I love to write so much now. Not so. We had to make up a story. I thought it was retarded. I did something very half baked and thought my story was very stupid. While I was writing it the teacher let us get up and have a "break". I believe she left the room. I stomped around irritated and grouchy and said in a loud voice, "I WILL NEVER WRITE WHEN I'M DONE WITH SCHOOL. I WILL NEVER WRITE A BOOK! DO YOU HEAR ME? NEVER!!!!" I swore it up and down for ten minutes or so... I held onto that for a long time. I thought I hated writing most of my life. I wrote a poem when I was in high school just because I felt like it. It wasn't an assignment or anything. I liked that, but I still didn't like writing. Then I wrote little poems in college, and it seems that I only wrote when I was upset. I loved to write those. They always made me feel better. I didn't write much of anything for the years after we got married. Not until I started a blog. Then I just couldn't seem to stop. Now, about 17 years later, I've decided a book would be fun to write and it is a goal!
So, I guess the influence was a negative one, and it took me 17 years to get over my public school training!!!