An Amazing Post-Christmas Present
Being an avid reader, I’ve encountered so many true-to-life experiences, whether they are fiction or not. One particular uncommon incident involves usually writing a letter in high school or college to oneself in the future. In one particular story, the letters were kept by the teacher and sent to each individual ten years after.
Amazingly, this happened to me.
My mom called me up one day to chat and she suddenly mentioned that I had received a letter from the US. I was shocked and my mind went into overdrive with pictures and names running through my head – my classmates from Glenside Weldon? (I had no ongoing communication with any of them)
one of my best friends from Philadelphia? (She was touring Asia last we talked so it was not her)
a possible college or university I applied for before? (They replied too late)
My mom even went as far to mention a pen pal boyfriend. I was like, What??? No way. I’m not into pen pals now and whaaat??? It seemed too ludicrous. Lol. She said the writing seemed childish (or “pangit”) so I was kept in the dark until I got home.
Here’s the envelope (address blacked out!):
I did not recognize the handwriting and there was no return address. I never figured out what it was until I actually read the contents! I was so weirded out because the envelope contained one single sheet of notebook paper, and the letter was badly written (in my opinion). But, amazingly, my memories of this letter came back in a rush.
It was June 1999. It was my last month and last year in the US. Our family was returning to the Philippines after two years. I was finishing 5th grade under the tutelage of Mr P, my favorite teacher ever. He taught me how to write a masters-worthy paper (I was so proud of my Walt Disney biography paper and environmental pollution paper), influenced me to read, and introduced me to Harry Potter. I was a teacher’s pet that whole year.
Being a new Asian student with limited English, I didn’t have a lot of friends. I always made up excuses to stay in the classroom during recesses and lunch breaks because I didn’t want to feel lonely. My most memorable times that year was borrowing books from Mr P’s mini-library (Goosebumps and Fear Street were my favorite books; RL Stine my favorite author then) and Mr P’s reading time – when he would pick a book and read it out loud to us while we sat in chairs and on the floor around him. It was the life.
Anyway, one day, he told us to write a letter to ourselves after ten years. We were to tell our after-ten-years-selves what we were doing and how we envisioned ourselves when we finally read the letter. That time, I never thought I would actually receive the letter. It’s really awesome that the letter actually arrived – good thing we didn’t move around in the Philippines.
So my first two paragraphs went like this:
I joined a competition for fifth and sixth-graders with my then best buddy, Louis. I think we won because I remember getting a gift certificate to Barnes and Noble I think. Anyway, it’s just funny that after more than ten years, I really did get this letter. I wonder if it was Mr P who really sent it.
This is something I will definitely treasure — a memento from my life in Pennsylvania and from being a fifth grader under the best teacher ever.=D