Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Rhymes with stupid...

So it's that time of the year when Teddy-Bear manufacturers work over-time and make enough sales to meet their entire years' objectives and fulfil their annual quota. I don't know any other time of the year when people actually go out and buy furry toys.

This year I've received 17 love letters for Valentines Day. But it's not what it seems and it doesn't count when you're holding a metaphorical gun to their heads. That's what I did to my students. I demanded it from them "You WILL write me a Love Letter in ENGLISH because I AM your Valentine...". The aim was to see how well they expressed themselves emotionally in English and most of them didn't seem to mind since it was better than writing a composition on Civil War in Africa.

Initially, I suggested it as a joke. And then it morphed into something that everyone took quite seriously. In any case, I wasn't prepared for, or expecting this:

Some of my favourite lines are:

"I'm not gay but I want to tell you by this Valentine's Day how much I appreciate you and you are a lovely person."

"You radiate life, your smile and your sense of humour says a lot about you. You have such a zest for life that it becomes difficult to maintain in your classroom in being sad."

"Without your company, my existence would be ungrateful."

"Sometimes when my mind is down your smile, your jokes, the nickname you gave me make me smile again."

"I'm very proud to have you as teacher because you are beautiful and clever. You are also open and sincere. I love you too much my heart continues to amaze."

"I love you because you are you, all simply."

Even though they were obliged to do it, I couldn't help feeling touched. I was also quite impressed by the effort they put into it. And then they surprised me with these:
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I believe that real love is selfless and doesn't feed the ego. If it's all about you and how you feel, it isn't real love. Real love is pure and honest and generous and it isn't something that you celebrate or express once a year.

However, it's still nice to know that someone appreciates you.


  1. My kind of gal! I forced my students to come in today despite being on holiday just so I had 20 dates. The girls weren't happy. The boys loved it!

    You don't need one day to express love. You should do it every day.

    Loving you Azra x

  2. Only wrong when you hold a real gun to their head. Otherwise, of course they love you!

    Must say, your students are very articulate. Happy V-day.

  3. They must love you if they gave you chocolate. Love is watching someone else eating chocolate and enjoying the sight.

  4. That's sweet, Teacher Azra, the one who radiates life. A daring assignment, too. I've never actually met a guy who would draw such cute-n-lovely flowers to impress a lady, but I can tell how much you appreciate them even if you held a virtual gun to their heads. Do you also like real flowers? I'm not the flower-drawing type, but I could get you some real flowers, beautiful flowers, endangered ones even, meaning I'd have to pull some strings... IF you were my teacher. I'm sure I'd like to be an undercover intermediate student! I sure hope you had a great day, beautiful and clever teacher with a zest for life :)
    - Randy

  5. Will you be my Internet Valentine, Azra?

  6. Very nicely put.

  7. Why didn't I think of this?? What a terrific and fun writing assignment, and a way to boost the ego! And even though your students were 'obliged' to do it, the letters sound heartfelt and sincere. You make a great Valentine! :)

  8. SI
    :) It was fun for me... I got to have a good laugh at their English but they were mostly bored. I didn't do much work, aside from teasing them.

    Thanks :) Some of my students work very hard and I'm proud of them... even when I laugh at them.

    I ended up sharing the chocolate among everyone in class today. No point in putting on weight alone :)

    I do like real flowers Randy. Although I would never want someone to go out of their way to give them to me ;)

    Of course I'd be your online Valentine. That rhymes too ;D


    Thank you sweetheart. My students are incredibly generous in spirit. They are very warm and give freely from their hearts. And that's how they differ from the average South African...and that's why I enjoy teaching them so much ;)

  9. "I'm not gay..." LMAO I love that someone was so insecure in their sexuality that they felt the need to express it in their homework.


  10. I make my wife eat chocolate to take her mind off sex.

    But there could be side effects...

  11. Azra,

    Can I just say "Awwwwww!" Thats awesome and an excellent exercise as well. It isn't often teachers ask you to "think" with your emotions for a classroom project. Bravo you, girl!!


  12. Aw, what sweet students. I love the idea of making them write you love letters :) Awesome.

  13. Some of those notes where just too precious.

  14. Angie
    Yeah, she was determined to let me know that how she felt about me had no reflection on her personal preferences LOL!

    Apparently a lot of chocolate makes our clothes shrink. One would think you'd be encouraging her to deprive herself of chocolate ;)

    Thanks Dean. It was an insightful exercise and they enjoyed it too!

    They are quite sweet. I'm going to make cupcakes for them.

    They were :)

  15. True, but I keep telling her that I love her just the way she is.

    I mean, that's what women need to hear, right?