The second memory regarded a dark blue book called the LAW book. This was short for the Literary Art of Writing, or at least I think this is what it was called (passive voice intentional) because I have tried to find it since and cannot. Who knows what the name really was. Maybe a former student of Ms. Stout bought them all off of Amazon and had a ceremonial burning of the LAWs.
And that is what Ms. Stout called this book. It was the LAW book, and we would joke about how it was the Bible for our essays. After the posting about rules and guidelines by Keith, I thought I might mention this LAW book. The book talked about avoiding first and second person, of course, and the book had many other rules for writing essays, like avoiding "wise" at the end of words, never discussing the "nature of" something, and so on. Most of the rules involved brevity and omitting extra words.
In the end, all of the LAWs can be broken. If you can break a law or rule or guideline in an intentional and useful way, then, I think, this is one of the inherent truths that writers do: learn established forms and test the limits to find out what is interesting, engaging, and creative.
And of course, happy teachers' week! Take a moment and remember one of your favorite teachers.