She Roared in Classroom 250
Alice Elizabeth Nye Sorrell roared as an English Lit teacher in Laredo, Texas, from 1931 through 1980, while performing a dual role as a Journalist for the local Hearst daily newspaper, the Laredo Morning Times. She amazed her Mexican-American pupils, who quickly imparted to her a virtual “rock-star” social status. Vividly she fronted poetry of Anglo-Saxon literary culture from Chaucer, through Lord Byron, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley—this to astonished classrooms packed with Latino-majority student bodies whose first language was Spanish.
A widowed social lioness, single parent, and early feminist, her reporting served the citizens of her town and state on a weekly basis (and often daily) for almost 75 years, from 1931 up to July 2007.
Progressive she was—and would be today given current political/cultural standards. A descendant of Norse people who became English dissenters, she is exemplary of the Nye clan in America, whose origins trace from 1635, Cape Cod. A genealogical narrative reveals the lady’s Viking genes, sent down by grandpa Capt. Thomas C. Nye, the family having pioneered in the Republic of Texas, followed by farming near Laredo at the end of the 19th century.
The teacher/journalist’s only son, a retired Texas and Colorado lawyer recounts here his mother’s life, lauding her as a Rice University graduate, an early feminist, and a radical humanitarian who ‘worked’ Laredo, and South Texas, as an influential socialite who expressed undying love of her city and her pupils from a back-bench overview of present culture, stacked on top her Danish, English, and New England ancestry, as a NYE whose world-view was global and not parochial.
This tale is one of public service, “overcoming” poverty and family tragedies which were capped by quiet victory, and the embellishing of her nine generation descent.
136 pages . 7×10 . photographs/illustrations/articles color and b&w
ISBN# 978-0-9839952-5-8 Paperback