RPCV Dylan implemented this strategy during afterschool computer lab hours. Students could only use computers to work on projects within the Microsoft Office Suite. I don’t necessarily agree with this rule for open computer time—I actually do think there’s inherent benefit in allowing my kids to play godawful music in Windows Media Player—but the MS Office iron curtain works well for an in-class assignment.
At the beginning of the class, I’ve told them they can type whatever they want, and then I’ve suggested:
- Typing out the lyrics to their favourite song;
- Writing a letter to a friend; or
- Typing up notes for one of their other classes.
I guess a blank stare is in order though. This assignment is somewhat similar to locking someone in a Kinko’s for the evening. Sure, there are tools for doing stuff, but the tools are a little useless when there’s no necessity involved. But eventually you find some way to pass the time.
Lili and I showed up for a movie early once, and we ended up playing at Kinko’s putting our friends’ faces on different denominations of currency. Sounds about right for bored American high school students, but what about Samoan kids?
The things they write are the most entertaining part of the assignment. Besides the Hearts, of course. The most popular song is writing out the words to Beyonce’s version of “Ave Maria”. Also popular is the lyrics to Kelly Clarkson’s “My Life Would Suck without You”. Nearly everything is written with the caps lock on.
Here are five unique examples:
- DEAR MUM ! THANK GOD THAT YOU ARE FINE AND IN GOOD HEATH … I WOULD LIKE TO SAY HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU WE PRAY THAT THE LORD WILL BLESS YOU AND GIVE YOU MORE DAYS TO BE WITH US LOTS OF LOVE AND KISSES FROM ALL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS ESPECIALLY YOUR BELOVED DAUGHTER
It’s be so nice
If could nothing fill so lonely
It’s be so nice
If I can smicky for moment
WHEN I SEE THE MOON I THINK OF YOU THE FRIENDSHIP FOEV
I write to you because of the day that I miss your birthday
I am very sorry about it
So I will try to make it up to you
I love you baby and happy birthday
If you get the package that I sent to you,
If get it you will be thanking
For having not done enough
To try to save your life
And accepting too readily
The finaly of your cancerous fate
Forgive me for having not thanked you
For being a great mother
And for not ntelling you
That I loved you
Before you died
That in passing on
Your gift of love
You will find it in your heart
Wherever you may be watching from
To forgive me
I hope you’re well. Pictures below.
We had chicken adobo for lunch. I asked Vaifale what it's called in Samoan. He said, "Soup."
These flowers are in my front yard. I didn't notice they were in bloom until today.
Thanks for making me sob.
& I'm still crying.
That last one was a heartbreaker. I second Amanda - thanks for making me sob.
Some of the most profound things come from children when we give the freedom to express themselves. It made me think of my mom and how much I would have liked to have changed some things in her final days. I can't stop sobbing...
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