Thursday, November 08, 2007


Today I had to come up with an impromptu writing assignment for my English & Reading students. I decided that since my brother has recently arrived in Iraq, it would be a good exercise for the students to write a letter to him. I gave them the option of writing "DO NOT SEND" at the bottom, but this was actually assigned as a required assignment. I was pleased that only one student opted not to send his.

I asked the students to answer the following questions (this was an extremely easy assignment):

  • What is your name?
  • What do you like to do in your spare time?
  • What is your favorite subject in school? (or who is your favorite teacher?)
  • Where do you see yourself in ten years?
I smiled from ear to ear as I read most of the letters, but the following letter broke my heart:

Hola mi nombre es ___________. J/K you probly don't speak spanish so I'll stick with english. Most people call me _______ tho. I'm 17 and I live in K-Town AKA Killeen texas. I was born in San antonio texas. In my free time right now I try to stay out of trouble because I don't want to get arrested again. Your sister erin is my favorite Sub. I don't have a favorite teacher or subject. I hate school and everything that goes with it but I go because the government makes me. In ten years I will be dead or in jail. those are my two options really. So your in Iraq! I bet it sucks over there. Im glad you are fighting for all of us. Even tho I will probly die before the war is over. Well....take care and God bless you and all the troops. Come home in one piece lol! Seriously tho!


debey said...

i'm with you, it's a heartbreaker.
How can a kid that forward, and that honest with himself, just accept that this will be his fate?
Email me your brother's address, i'll throw a letter in the mail, once in a while...........since he shares your DNA, i woulod imagine hunting and fishing wouyld be on hist list of hobbies/passtimes?

count said...

poor kid. Sounds like he needs a new group of friends.

Wish your bro the best for me, and tell him Count said Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Direct him over to the Big Brothers program. It sounds like he needs a little TLC and guidance.


SoHoS said...

That was the hardest part for me. I taught High School English for three years and so many of the kids just accepted death or jail as their fate.

ABW said...

Very sad that someone thinks that those are his/her only two options...especially when they have a sense of humour! Hopefully they realize that there is more out there then what Killeen aka Hell has to offer and they are able to get outside of those four walls and make a life for themselves.