Aspiring author plans to teach while pursuing dream

For English Romantic poet William Wordsworth, writing was filling paper “with the breathings of your heart.” Mary Currie shares that sentiment. She began writing poems in her freshman year of high school, and the more she wrote, the more she fell in love with the written word.

“Everyone else was struggling with it [writing], but it just came naturally to me. I can translate my feelings in writing better than I ever could speaking,” Currie said.

Currie took journalism courses while in high school, but her true passion is for creative writing. She’s currently working on a fiction novel. “I’m about a quarter of the way finished with it,” she said. “I enjoy creating my own world and deciding who my characters will be, what they will look like and how they will react. It’s very liberating.”

Currie is in her second semester at the University of Arkansas Community College at Batesville. She plans to pursue a degree in education. “I want to teach and have that cushion to support my dream of being a published author,” she said. Currie said she would ultimately like to teach at the collegiate level. She said her English instructor, Susan Tripp, has been a particular inspiration for her. “I love college. Ms. Tripp has been inspiring to me. I love watching her. She’s very poised and helpful and has worked very hard to get where she is. That’s what I want to be one day.”

Currie found her “dream job” on campus working in the library on the weekends. “I’m surrounded by books. I love it. Some would find it boring, but it’s calming to me, and I find inspiration for my book in that environment,” she said.

A graduate of Highland High School, Currie said she knew she wanted to attend a community college. She received a scholarship to attend UACCB, which helped her make the commitment to an hour commute to attend classes on campus. “I wanted to step outside my comfort zone, but I also wanted to be successful. I didn’t want to get into a situation where I would be struggling and have to come back home if I went to a larger school. I wanted to have new experiences but stay close to my family,” she said.

Currie also enjoys expressing her creative streak on stage. She performed in musicals during high school including “Seussical” and “The Crucible.” “I played Sour Kangaroo in Seussical, which is the main villain. It was fun to step out of my shell and be completely different with that character,” she said.

Currie said she knows becoming an author will mean years of hard work, but she’s up for the challenge. “Look at J.K. Rowling and how many times she was turned down before the Harry Potter series became a success. I had the chance to meet Jodi Picoult who wrote My Sister’s Keeper, and I asked her, ‘When did you know you were meant to be a writer?’ She said, ‘When I could do it easily.’ She told me it takes a lot of hard work, but you can make it,” Currie said.