Voice from the Past Letters Directions

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Voice from the Past Letters


Write a letter to yourself to be read by you at some future date. Please try to capture your high school experience in a couple of pages, especially how you feel right now. Try to capture the essence of the 2012-2013 school year.

This is a fun assignment. I first started doing this with seniors in 1997, and it has been fun sending them out each summer. Getting a letter from yourself several years after you write it is a strange thing, so to make sure you have a good experience reading your letter five, ten, or fifteen years down the line, there are some guidelines to follow:

  • Have fun with this assignment

  • Keep it upbeat and optimistic

  • What are the happiest or best experiences you want to be reminded of?

  • Leave bad memories behind


  • Start with “Dear Me,” or “Dear Sarah,…. ” or use your nick name

  • Provide the DATE—that’s very important

You may want to include some of the following ideas or organize your thoughts according to the list below:

  • Memorable events 9th, 10th, 11th grade

  • Friends throughout high school

  • Your personal changes in philosophy about people, life and yourself throughout high school

  • What’s going on in your life right now

  • Who your current friends are

  • Current activities

  • Current likes/dislikes

  • Funny memories

  • Current plans for the future

  • What do you want your 25-30-year-old self to know about your 17-year-old self?

*Have fun with this assignment. Be optimistic. Please keep in mind that you will be reading this in the future and if there is anything that you want to forget about at the present time, don’t include it in your letter. Leave bad memories behind. Look to the future.

  • If you feel you have to include sad or bad memories, most importantly, WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED about yourself through the experience?

  • If you would like to have a friend or family member write you a note, provide them a SMALL piece of paper to write something on. Don’t ask for a lengthy letter. This should be primarily a letter to you, from you.

You will receive credit for this assignment, which is due You must, must, must include TWO stamps or a “forever” stamp on self-addressed envelope. If you have a tendency to move a lot, please provide the address of a family member who is less likely to move.

2.1 Write autobiographical narratives:

a. Narrate a sequence of events and communicate their significance to the audience.
b. Locate scenes and incidents in specific places.
c. Describe with concrete sensory details the sights, sounds, and smells of a scene and the specific actions, movements, gestures, and feelings of the characters; use interior monologue to depict the characters' feelings.
d. Pace the presentation of actions to accommodate temporal, spatial, and dramatic mood changes.
e. Make effective use of descriptions of appearance, images, shifting perspectives, and sensory details.

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