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October 10, 2009

I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself a Letter

"I'm gonna sit right down and write myself a letter" - besides being a popular song from many years ago, might even be an interesting idea - or at least a writing assignment....

...here's how I present it to my students; write a letter to yourself in the past - or the future.

What would you say to yourself five - or more - years ago? What do you wish you knew back then? What would you tell - or ask the person you were back then?

Can you think of anything you know now that you wish you knew then?

Or you could turn it around and think of a letter as sort of a time capsule to be opened on a particular day, perhaps one's pivotal birthday, thirty or forty perhaps. Or even on a projected significant day, perhaps the day of one's wedding or the birth of a child.

What do you know now that you hope you will keep in mind on those crucial days?

I know that I am always encountering ideas and information and I just assume that I will recall it when I need to, but I always seem to forget, right when I need it most.

Think of this as your opportunity to give advice to the person who matters most to you - yourself. And who better to give that advice than yourself.

I encourage my students to use writing assignments like this to explore - and express - the possibilities around them. This is also a vivid inspiration to take hold of the time that we are here, the time that we have together.

So get thinking, and get writing. You will appreciate this note from your greatest fan.

You just might be surprised at what you have to say....

It is good to remember that we are all always learning. And it is always more fun to learn together. We can learn as much from the past as from the present. And we can learn as much from using and stretching our imaginations as from studying our textbooks.

Let me know what it is about English that you find confounding, infuriating or endlessly intriguing.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.


About the author of this entry:

Morf has a B.A.from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). Morf prefers international and independent films, foods he can't pronounce, music no one else has heard of and riding his bicycle in foreign cities.

Posted by mmorf at October 10, 2009 11:24 PM

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