As spring fever descends over the middle school and frustration creeps in (shameless plug: one of my latest posts on www.deanskeen.blogspot.com discusses frustration), the students can still make me smile. Case in point: an 8th grader left her laptop unattended and took four days to write a letter requesting it back. Below is the text, which made me smile and I hope will make you as well. (Keep in mind: this student must write 150 words, so you will see some typical strategies at work – repeating, stories, etc.)
Dear Mr. Skeen,
I’m sorry that I left my laptop unattended. I knew that it would be safe in Ms. ________’s classroom for a little while, but I did forget to go back and get it. Thank the teacher (Ms. ______) for rescuing my laptop from that awful burglar who I’m sure would have taken it if it hadn’t been given to you.
Also, the reason I didn’t give you this letter sooner, was that I wanted it to have a vacation. I’m sure you took great care of it. I speak for my laptop when I say, thank you for giving him a vacation. I bet the two of you had a great time (Editor’s note: this is my favorite line). I’m so sorry to take him back to work but I’m sure he will survive. Thank you again for giving him a safe home.