Monday, October 4, 2010

The Break-Up Letter

Em's eighth-grade Advanced History teacher is young, innovative, and totally adorable. He lets me believe that there is still a way to be a good teacher, no matter how inhospitable the general environment is toward teaching in this NCLB era of insipidity.

Eighth grade is American History; the class is studying the Declaration of Independence. Their assignment? To write a break-up letter--following some very specific, Declaration-like guidelines--to anyone or any thing, living or dead, real or fictional.

Emily decided to write her break-up letter to Voldemort ... not as herself, but as Harry Potter.

She handed it in today, so I have no idea how it will go over, what her teacher will think of it. There's some awkwardness in the construction, and some typos (which I've left alone); it may not be the most insightful history essay ever written. (Actually, I know it's not, because my friend Ambre recently sent me an equally interesting assignment her daughter had been given, and THAT is the most insightful history essay ever written. I will brook no argument.)

But what I can say? I've never enjoyed reading a history paper more.

And with that, I give you...Em. As Harry.

Dear Voldemort,
            I regret very much what I am about to write.  Every word pains me, but I feel it is better for the both of us.  One of us had to make this decision; I guess it had to be me. I do not believe this “relationship” we are in is going to be good for us any longer.            
            Although our connection was accidental, it has helped me grow.  From this connection I have become famous.  I am the ‘Boy Who Lived,’ the ‘Chosen One’.  It has brought me enemies, but also very close friends.  The scar on my forehead reminds everyone just who I am.  We have also become dependent upon each other.  Because as you know, neither can live while the other survives.
             I could go on for…oh let’s say…7 books worth of stuff you’ve done wrong, but I think I’ll spare us all the details.  Here are just a couple of reasons why I think it is best we go our own ways.
1. You killed my parents.  So you didn’t like them; you could have just said so.
2. You’ve tried to kill ME several times.  It makes it pretty hard to trust you.
3. You’ve tortured my friends.  They’ve told me that this relationship we have is not healthy, but I tried to stay faithful.
4. You’ve put fake images in my head, putting me, and many others I love, in danger.
            Several times I found myself in a position where I could possibly have saved us, but you persisted in ignoring me. I tried to get you to realize that all you had to do was show some compassion or remorse.  It might have made things easier for you in the end. I also tried to stay out of your way.  I didn’t try to hunt you down; I just tried to keep a safe distance and hope we could get along better that way. But you just wouldn’t leave me alone.
            So, all this means one thing: it’s time for us to split.  I do not want you to hate me any more than you already do.  I want you to realize that this is better for both of us.  We have been mortal enemies my whole life, and I really think that if we just let go of all these negative feelings, it would be better not just for us, but for everyone.  So please just consider all this with an open mind, and I hope you have a good rest of your life.  
                                                                        Free From You,
                                                                        Harry Potter  

1 comment:

Green said...

I like it a lot. I have a hard time seeing what exactly this has to do with the actual Declaration, but I've never read that OR Harry Potter. But it's a fun read, and clear your daughter will grow up to break up with men (or women) very gently yet firmly.