Tag Archives: Journalism

Where it Started – Part 1/2

There is a reason why half the teachers in America leave the classroom within three to five years and never return to education.

In fact, I don’t blame them.

Even now, almost five years after leaving the classroom, I can honestly say that I’d rather be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan to fight in a real shooting war than go back into a classroom.

And I know what war is like. I served in the United States Marines and fought in Vietnam in 1966.

My path to becoming a teacher started while I was earning a BA in journalism during the early 1970s, at California State University, Fresno. A grade school teacher and her husband lived in a first-floor apartment in the same building. We became friends

One night during dinner, she asked if I wanted to come to her classroom and read a story to her students. I agreed, but I had no story so I quickly wrote one called The Wind is my Friend.

Reading to her third graders went well, and she asked if I had ever considered becoming a teacher. She said I worked well with kids. That stuck in my mind. The seed had been planted.

I went on to graduate from Fresno State in 1973, and moved back to Los Angeles. Although I interviewed for jobs with newspapers and magazines, the pay was too low. I wouldn’t have earned enough to pay the rent on the apartment my wife and I lived in, so with help from my father-in-law, I found a job in industry.

However, the seed sprouted and in 1975, I quit a job with Pacific Motor Trucking to return to school at Cal Poly Pomona where I earned a multiple-subject life credential.

Continued at Where It Started – Part 2


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

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A Square Peg in a Round Hole

I am the square peg that fit in a round hole. I’m the last guy anyone would expect to teach poetry, grammar, writing and literature.

In fact, I did not enjoy kindergarten through twelfth grade. In grade school, I was the puny guy bullies lined up to terrorize. In high school, I was six-foot four and weighed one-hundred-and-twenty-five pounds. If I turned sideways, I disappeared—a good way to hide.

In high school, I read an average of two paperbacks a day. During lectures, I sat in the back dressed in black wearing shades reading Andre Norton or Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradbury. I read a series of books about the Civil War while my history teacher talked about the Revolutionary War.  When other kids played baseball, football or basketball, I was reading about Alexander the Great or Genghis Khan.

When I graduated, my GPA had a decimal in front of it. After high school, I joined the Marine Corps.

Then LBJ lied about the Tonkin Gulf incident and became George W. Bush’s role model for the future invasion of Iraq. What irony, a Democrat teaching a Republican how to use false evidence to start a war. That might be the only time a Republican learned anything from a Democrat.

I came back from Vietnam with a dose of Post Traumatic Stress and almost drowned in booze. When I was honorably discharged from the Marines in 1968, I had no idea what was causing me to wake up sweaty seeing Vietcong in the room.

I slept with an eight-inch blade.

In Vietnam, a sniper came within an inch of killing me. The round caressed an ear, and I thought, “God, get me home alive in one piece, and I will go to college like my parents wanted.”

In 1973, I graduated with honors with a BA in journalism from FSU. In 1975, at thirty, I earned a teaching credential at Cal Poly Pomona.  The MFA arrived later.

From 1975 to 2005, I taught English, reading and journalism in the public schools, and I didn’t torture or shoot anyone.

Discover why Substitute Teaching is not a “Tea Party”


Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition].

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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