“My mistakes are my life.” So said Samuel Beckett, the late playwright and Nobel Laureate. Lord knows we only learn the hard way. My earliest memorable mistake dates back to the mid-20th Century.

Mr. Harwood was an upbeat geography teacher, who taught me in 7th grade. I have no idea why I remember his name except that my mind was more of a sponge than a drain hole when I was 13.

He created competitions each week with his tests. I just missed the best score one week when I misspelled an answer, possessions. I had a singular “s” and a double “s” instead of a double “s” times two.

Getting older apparently diminishes the spelling ability of even good spellers. But, despite that, I don’t think I will ever forget how to spell possession. Of course it could have been worse. The word could have been possessionlessness.