July 2021 MLL Requests

July 2021 MLL Requests

To potential writers: This is just an experiment.
For about a year, I’ve been sending letters to folks via moreloveletters.com.
Every month, that site posts requests from people who would like to see a loved one showered with letters of support.
These are the requests for July, 2021.
A teacher might want to pick and choose from these requests, based on suitability for the age of their students and on topics raised in the descriptions.
Anyway, I’m writing this from another software program and jetting it out straight to ednotions.com. Let’s see how it turns out.


Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay 

Logan is a kind and generous person who is celebrating her 20th birthday on August 1st! Her foster mom shared this with us:

“Logan is so much more than “just a foster kid,” which many, many people just write her off as being just another number or statistic. She works two jobs, is about to move into her first apartment by herself, is a cat mom to two gorgeous little fur babies. Even though she has all these things going for her, she’s run into bad luck. She has all these great things going for her and is still held back by those dark thoughts of depression, anxiety, and lack of motivation to continue. I fall into the category of “mom” where she thinks I’m supposed to say all the good things. She will need some encouragement from more than just me. She’s doing a great job and she should know that there are more cheerleaders to help cheer her on. Please help me in celebrating Logan, her second decade on this Earth, and all of her achievements!”

Grab your pens and let’s celebrate Logan!

Logan’s bundle
℅ Ashliegh B.
271 Sanderson Road
Milton, VT 05468

Denise is described by her sister as “an absolutely amazing, wonderful, and loving person.” However, life has not been easy. She shares more of her sister’s story below:

“We may have had two parents growing up, but all they did was fight all the time. Because of this, my sister and I both suffer from serious depression and anxiety that stemmed from our childhood. We also have horrible luck in relationships because of the fear of ending up like our mother, stuck in a loveless marriage with no way out.

My sister is 40 years old and single with no kids which really depresses her a lot of the time because she’s always wanted a child. She would make an amazing mother and I hate that she missed out on that. I have a son who she treats just like her own, and it upsets me to know that she won’t ever have that for herself.

When our father had a stroke and was unable to communicate properly with us, she went back to school to become a speech pathologist. She absolutely loved her job, but during the pandemic, she was relocated to the ER to take people’s temperatures and she hated seeing her department dwindle to nothing and people dying because of Covid. She signed on to become a traveling speech pathologist. Eventually, this led to her being depressed even more because most of her positions were in long-term care facilities. She watched so many people pass away and become depressed because their loved ones could no longer visit them, or she had to leave them after three months. She really created a bond with these people and now she’s unsure of what she wants to do with her life. She thinks she’s made a decision but she is still feeling kind of lost.”

Gather around, and let’s send Denise love and let her know how amazing she is.

Denise’s bundle
℅ Robin S.
5304 Buckhead Road
Smoaks, SC 29481

Betty is a strong woman going through a hard time. Her daughter shared part of her story with us:

“Currently, my mother Betty is going through a divorce after 18 years of marriage. During that time, she was mentally and emotionally abused. My mom can no longer make a decision as simple as the color of her nail polish because for so long, her husband told her she was wrong and made all of the decisions for her, regardless of what she wanted or needed. She cannot even express her feelings anymore because for so long she had to bottle them inside. Mom had to move from the home she’s lived in for the past 18 years to now floating between me and my three sisters until the divorce is final and she can get her own place. She didn’t even get to bring her truck with her. She is starting over from scratch. My mom has forgotten her worth and that she is strong. She is suffering from a laundry list of health issues stemming from being severely depressed. There are so many uncertainties for her but I want her to be reminded that she is worthy and that everything is going to be alright in the end. Moving on is scary but she is going to be ok with just a little help and encouragement.”

Round up the stationary and let’s help remind Betty how amazing she is.

Betty’s bundle
℅ Julie D.
3000 Greendridge Drive Apt# 1610
Houston, TX 77057

Tony is in the middle of a hard time in his life. His friend shared part of Tony’s story:

“Tony is going through a lot. He had to self-isolate because his parents are at high risk for Covid. He is also struggling with finding a job. He was laid off from his position of nine years because of the pandemic closing down his work, and every job he tries for never gets back to him. He is also being forced to move from his home into a new location with his parents sometime this year because they can no longer afford the home they have been living in. To make matters worse, the new home is small and high up. Tony fears that he will be fighting his acrophobia every day he lives there because he is some ten stories up in a high-rise building and has lots of windows.

Tony also doesn’t know why his best friends are not talking to him, and he misses them much. He has tried to call, message, text, and write to his friends, but only one has ever responded. He knows them for seven or more years and doesn’t know if it is something he did or said or if they’re just too busy. He told me once a lot of times he cries himself to sleep and doesn’t get much sleep because he doesn’t know what to do with all these problems he is facing and dealing with. The year 2021 has been worse for him than last year, and I worry about him because he is in a dark place.

Tony has also been writing a lot. He has written letters that are going out to different people. He is trying to find work and find advice, but gets very little or no return. He is also trying very hard to get a book out that he started to write back in 2005. He hopes that it will come out sometime this year. That is the only thing that is keeping him running these days. Tony is known to drop puns and jokes with friends, cosplay, go to cons and renaissance festivals, and hang out with friends.”

Tony needs some advice and encouragement. Let’s write to show him that there is hope for him and his future.

Tony’s bundle
℅ Hector N.
1211 Crystal Lake Road East
Burnsville, MN 55306

Gaby is caught in the craziness of life. Her childhood best friend shares part of that story with us:

“In terms of her personality, Gaby is one of the most joyous people I happen to know. She always comes across as relaxed and carefree. She enjoys talking to other people and getting to know their lives. Her interests include experimenting with make-up on her YouTube channel and listening to and watching spooky stories. She also draws on Instagram and has recently started making food-themed earrings out of clay on Etsy. Gaby is someone who I consider my most trusted friend. She’s the only close female friend I had growing up, and I credit her for helping me grow into a mature adult.

Despite her sunny personality, over the years of our friendship, I’ve learned that she struggles with loneliness. The pandemic has hit her hard emotionally, in that she’s had less of an opportunity to see friends (including myself) in person, and her social circle physically moved farther and farther away to where she’s located.

She recently quit her job because of feeling disrespected by her boss, and she’s felt adrift in terms of her future for a while now. Since high school she has wanted to work in law enforcement but college has been a stressful experience for her, lately the biggest struggle has been her grades in a required mathematics course. She’s still unsure as to what she really wants her major to be, feeling like she should have graduated already and is just playing catch-up with all of her friends.

Gaby is an intelligent and thoughtful person, though her lack of self-esteem has exacerbated in the past few years, making it harder for her to feel confident in her own abilities. Every time I see her, I get the sense that she’s feeling more and more depressed, though she’s not always open about it. What I think Gaby would like to hear most of all is from people who are willing to share about their lonely college experiences, who were unsure about life in their 20s, and most of all things they did in order to help them mend their anxiety and depression.”

Grab your pens, pick your stationery, find your stamps and let’s send some words of encouragement to Gaby!

Letters are welcome in English and Spanish

Gaby’s bundle
℅ Peter H.
3734 Portsmouth Circle North
Stockton, CA 95219


The Next Page Entry 62: Overheard in Room 36

The Next Page Entry 62: Overheard in Room 36

a man listening, holding his hand up to his ear

Glad I’ve been keeping a small notebook with me…

Overheard in the classroom yesterday. : 

— “Do you think Ms. Page has a plan for today?”

— “No way! I would never mix sardines with peanut butter!”

— “They should make kids be the crossing guards. My grandpa said he used to be one.”

— “I think I saw Ms. Page talking to Mr. Taylor after school.”
“So? Teachers are always talking to each other.”
“What do you think they talk about?”
“Probably snoopy kids like you.”

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

The Next Page Entry 61: One year ago today…

The Next Page Entry 61: One year ago today…

One Year Ago Today…

I was teaching lockstep with the instructional schedule.
I was teaching straight out of the district-approved and embarrassingly overpriced language arts series. The scope-and-sequence was the Bible.
I was bored with the reading selections and so were the kids. 
Our writing assignments were dry as dust and so focused on non-fiction writing and ‘writing to learn’ that nothing felt new or original.
One year ago today I wasn’t bringing brownies and apple cake to staff meetings and I hadn’t forged a friendship with Mrs. Helm.

I think I’m liking this year a whole lot better.
Not sure how much grief might be awaiting me around the corner, but that’s a shruggable item for another day.

The Next Page Entry 60: Weekend Homework? Really?

The Next Page Entry 60: Weekend Homework? Really?

So, I gave the kids homework over the weekend.
Yes, ruthless, aren’t I?
I kept it simple.
“Bring in a piece of cardboard at least two feet wide and two feet long.”
And I gave them two nights to do it. And I encouraged those who had extra cardboard to offer some to others who weren’t able to [or choosing to] track some down. And I suggested to the cardboard-deprived kids to ask their classmates or neighbors or a store for a single sheet.
Two nights!
Ask for help!
Result: 12 out of 27 kids brought some in.
Give me a break!
And yet, I had a feeling this would happen, so I was ready.
I had sauntered down the aisles of Foodko during late-night shelf stocking and asked the folks for the emptied boxes. They were champs.
So, yesterday I had cardboard sheets stacked for those who hadn’t followed through.
But everything has a price, even castoff cardboard…

The Next Page Entry 50: The da Vinci Zone spreads

The Next Page Entry 50: The da Vinci Zone spreads

da vinci word cloud curiosity

Seems we’re getting a little bogged down in class.

The kids all wanted to share their videos and their findings from yesterday.

And they wanted extra notebook/codex time.

I guess it’s a good version of being bogged down, but we didn’t exactly dive into any new lessons. That may come back to haunt me…but then again, not sure I’m overly concerned with any possible misfortune.

And more than a few of them surrounded Mrs. Helm today, wanting their work to be included in the school’s weekly newsletter.

I don’t see that happening, but I will say that our class web page [thanks to Mrs. Helm] is, to use her term, ‘vibrant’ with all kinds of video clips and photos.

Kind of fun.

Haven’t caught up to Mrs. Nix re: her wanting to see me. [Or is it, I haven’t let her catch up with me?]

Time to get home to bake for Mrs. Helm. Staff meeting tomorrow and since she joined me last time, I’d better be well-supplied. Plus, I owe her for keeping up our class web page. I sent my right- and left-hand people [Beth and Sanjay] to find out what our beloved librarian would like for a treat.

Verdict: Oatmeal raisin cookies.


The Next Page Entry 49: Supermarket Spree

The Next Page Entry 49: Supermarket Spree

Leonardo da Vinci self sketch saying oh lord, the questions!

So, it’s like this. 

I’ve unleashed a new brand of crazy inside and outside the classroom.

It’s called ‘the da Vinci-zone’. 

I got the kids all amped up on being observant and curious. Oy. It’s so not easy to rein them in. Am figuring it will calm down, but for now…they were in full-swing on the walk to the supermarket and back. I take that back. Inside Food City as well.

The poor manager was engulfed with questions, like:

  • What temperature do you keep the ice cream at? 
  • How old are the spare ribs?
  • Which gum sells the fastest?
  • How early in the day does the smell of your roasted chicken start to travel around the store?
  • What is YOUR favorite smell in the store?
  • Do you move the older apples from the bottom to the top so they don’t get old?
  • My mom says in the old days the cashiers had to punch in numbers for the prices. Was she kidding?

I decided the day before to scale back on their activity sheets, so it was down to:

  • English/Language Arts: Write down the sentence or sentences that make you want to buy a product.
  • Report to your iPad/camera buddy and have them record you telling two things you learned during the visit.
  • Math: Fill in the blanks: I would buy ten [name of product]. It would cost me [_______].
  • Science: Find an item that depends on aging or fermentation.
    Find an item that you think consists of 30% to 70% water.

Let’s just say there were multiple flurries of activity throughout the store.

Of course, nothing compared to the cheer for the free donuts they scored at the end of the visit. [When we got back, they had to calculate the number of calories they consumed, based on Dunkin Donuts estimated per item count of 260 calories. I told them the donut gave them each enough added energy to do the math.]

When we got back, Mr. Taylor told me Mrs. Nix was looking for me. 

Film at 11 on that one…