Sunday, March 27, 2011

Dear Students of Takasago...

Following are some letters my students wrote to the students of Takasago, whose school is sheltering 1000 homeless victims of Japan's earthquake in the Rikuzen-Takasago neighborhood, north of Tokyo. With resources tight and need great, Stu Levy, the founder of Tokyopop thought it'd be a great idea if people could send letters to encourage these students, who are working hard to rebuild; (his request was sent via Louise on fb—thanks Louise). 

I teach an advanced ESL class to Iranian, Korean and Russian students, who I realized would be perfect candidates to write these letters, as most have experienced disasters in their own countries. I just had to ask: my students immediately set about writing, gripping their pencils tight, diligently referring to their dictionaries for meaning and spelling. I told them spelling wasn't important; what was important was that they wrote from the heart. For an entire twenty minutes, no one talked. 

Here's a sampling of their letters (produced exactly as written):

Dear students of Takasago. we are in Los Angeles. we are thinking about your Live all the time and we are sorry for your lost. we know what you're going through. I am very angree and I wish I was there to help you. In my country we also experienced an earthquake.
we hope you can start your good life again. we are thinking about you and your life I wish Japan gets better faster. the Japanese pepale are picking themselves up and your story showed it in Nacazacy and hyroshima, you are special peaple in the world. 
God help you.
kindly S.

Dear Students of Takasago
I am sorry that earthquake from Japan all of the world countries feels very sorrow
In my country we also experienced an earthquake
So Please don't despair of suffering
I hope you overcome quickly
my family, my country, all of people are thinking about Japanse people
Quen Shiteimasu!
Sincerely, K

Dear students of Takasago
Helo to the geat pepol Japan
wer heard about your terrible earthquak
and we were very sorry about it
we know what happend. that is very blues
you were and are a great nation and prograssive in the world
we have a bad experiance about earthquak terrible,
and you have a bitter remember about atomic bomb
in the end of 2 world war, I heard, after fifty years
all the fishes in the sea had blood cancer
So we're very worried about you
I believ you can make yourself same the past with honor
we're thinking about you in LA
with the best kindly, N

Two letter writers

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