Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Hopes & Dreams

Getting your students to write is always an uphill task. They will always procrastinate and stare at their blank pieces of paper, complaining of "writer's block".

Today, a minor miracle happened: My 3E students couldn't stop writing. I gave them 30 minutes to write a letter to their future (25-year-old) selves. They were encouraged to be as honest / creative / funny as possible. 

At first they were a bit noisy as they started discussing and joking about what they would write about. Then it happened: They began to furiously write their heartfelt letters. 

Reading their letters made me feel nostalgic. Ah, to be 15 and full of dreams. To be so optimistic about the future. To have this conviction that you'll achieve great things in life. To be a hopeless romantic.

Here are some of my favourite excerpts:

1) I hope you have worked and studied hard. And you if didn't fulfill dad's, mom's and my dream, it is okay my dear self, I will always be proud of you, if that what makes you happy, I'm happy. Never feel bad about yourself if you didn't become what you and I wanted, at least I know you have tried your best.

2) I really hope you have found a girl that cares for you and always be there when you are feeling down. Don't forget that when the time has come, give her the ring.

3) So, how about your old friends? Do you still remember them? Do you still contact them? I hope you do. Because they are great friends. I hope you won't forget them. They helped you a lot back then.

4) I'm doing this only because my English teacher told me to or not I won't do it.

5) Before I put down my pen, I just want to give you some advice: Never stop forgiving others.

6) You should be in medical school right now. If  you're not then I don't really know what you're doing with your life.

7) I hope that you have achieved all my goals and dreams. I know that some of my dreams were almost impossible to achieve. But hey, miracles do happen right? I hope you never give up on my dreams. Even if the whole world says that you're crazy, don't you ever give up!

8)  The most important question is how are mom and dad doing? Are they still healthy? I hope they are. They took care of you when you were just a baby until you've grown into an adult. So now, it's your turn to take care of them. Don't ever forget that.

9) Do you remember Teacher Rosyada? The very nice young teacher who taught you English in Form 3? How's she doing? I'll pray for her happiness. She's the teacher that made you write this essay. I think you'll be grateful she made you write this essay then.

10) It has been 10 years and I'm very proud that you've survived all the bumpy roads in life. I have to admit, I am one strong man. No matter how bad things get, I'm still proud of you. Except if you haven't gotten married yet.

If you're not successful, happy, rich, smart, good-looking, healthy, please do turn to the next page:

And my absolute favourite (it just resonates with me):


The above exercise was taken from kidstardustliteraryblog.wordpress.com.

If you want to take the exercise further, get your students to go to futureme.org. There, you students can type their letters / attach pictures of their handwritten letters to their future selves. The site will then send the letters via email on the specified date.