What I Wish

Yesterday, I had guest speakers come to my poetry class and run a workshop.  One of the writing prompts they offered the class was “write a letter you can’t/won’t send.”  This is what I came up with:

Dear One,

    I wish, perhaps more than I wish anything else for you, that you end up on your face a few months after you leave here.  I want someone to take you down, and to take you down hard.  I want for you to spend at least a couple of days steeped in excruciating self-doubt; I want for you to be given just cause to really question the way you think about yourself and your place in the world.  I wish, perhaps more than I wish anything else, that someone who doesn’t know your penchant for irrational drama and litigation isn’t afraid to tell it like he sees it tells you exactly how little you’re going to succeed with that attitude and that sense of entitlement that you carry with you with such forthright pride.

    My deepest hope is that someone, soon, explains to you that you are not all that.  That you do have to earn what you get, and if you’ve earned nothing, that’s exactly what you will receive.  I want for someone to make plain to you that the big bad world doesn’t owe you a thing, and that the way you behave teaches people how to treat you, so when you start to wonder why everyone around you is such an asshole, you might begin to consider that the one constant in all your shitty relationships is you.

    I do not want these things out of spite, though I’m certain that you would believe, with every fibre of your being, that I simply want to see you fail because you’ve already decided that I’m a useless, self-righteous bitch.  While you may believe that, nothing could be farther from the truth.  The truth is that I want this devastating humiliation for you, this soul-crushing come-to-Jesus, to happen sooner rather than later so that you can get yourself together and realize the enormity of your true potential.  I want you to get knocked out so completely and totally that when you wake up, you will suffer the kind of amnesia that lets you forget your arrogance and entitlement and victim mentality and get on with the life that you were truly meant for.  You could be wonderful, but you choose to fight against your possibility with so much energy that you have nothing left to be who you really are.  You can’t begin to imagine how sad that makes me.

    So, Dear One, I hope that someone whom you respect and admire takes you out at the knees.  I hope that someone with more guts than I have tells you to knock your shit off and figure yourself out.  I hope that the next year brings you an existential crisis of monumental and staggering proportions, and I hope that you are strong and smart enough to come out the other side beginning to understand what I already know; you are your own worst enemy.

    Have fun storming the castle.

        -Mrs. Chili



Filed under failure, frustrations, I've got this kid...., out in the real world, really?!

8 responses to “What I Wish

  1. OH MY GOD!! I KNEW you crept into my room and silently observed my classes!! No, wait – that applies to more than one student in more than one class – so, hmm, which one were you in?

    As always, brilliant!!

  2. I agree! It’s sad that teachers can’t provide lessons like this. Wouldn’t it be better if this type of student could learn this lesson before the stakes get high? Unfortunately, this type of student has been told they don’t have to respect us enough for us to be able to reach him (or her.)

  3. M

    I want to send this letter to a whole lot of people.

  4. Darci

    Touche. As a 8th grade teacher, I find myself so often thinking “Son/Daughter, you are going to end up in the trash can next year” and I hope you can climb back out. I have so many victims in my class that it kills me not to scream “When are you going to take ownership of your actions – it is not your friends’ fault that you are acting out in class…it just isn’t”

    I am not certain some of them will even be able to find nor cross the moat to be able to storm the castle.

  5. Yeah, you guys – I figured I’d hit some nerves with this one. I was pretty sure I was giving voice to a lot of teacher angst. Please, feel free to direct students to this site as you see fit.

  6. How bad is it that I have theses thoughts at times?

  7. Amen. I’d like to pass that on to a few students. Indeed, thanks for giving our angst a voice.

  8. Pingback: Can Lightning Strike Twice? | A Teacher’s Education

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