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For years I have wanted to be a student in a Maya Angelou class. I wanted to be in the presence of a woman whose writing has touched me deeply.

After hearing her speak while I was a student at Bloomsburg University, I so wanted to transfer to the Wake Forest University because she taught there. In person and in her writings, Maya has revealed some of the deepest parts of herself.

Maya is the voice of women everywhere. She is a writer, mother, teacher, poet, activist, playwright, dancer, and actress.

There are many things that I have gleaned from Maya over the years. As a teacher in one of Oprah’s Master Class, Maya said something that resonated deep within me.

“Words are things, I am convinced,” she said. “You must be careful about the things you use or the words that you allow to be used in your house.”

I do believe in the power of words. It is one of the things that I loved as my job as a journalist. I loved and still do love how words can be weaved together to tell a story. Sometimes my own, but usually others.

I am very careful in the words that I use. Not for the full reason that Maya expresses, but because I believe that words live long after we say them. People come back to those words and hold onto them. They can stay with people; they can shape people and sometimes change people.

I never made it to Wake Forest University to take a semester long class from Dr. Angelou. However, this Master Class is an unforgettable lesson not only for myself, but one for others who believe in the power of words.

The words we choose can penetrate through your skin and right into your soul.

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