Dear Teacher | One Little Word

this grew in my yard

I received this via email from a student in my One Little Word class and thought it was just too cool not to share.

dear teacher:

i apologize for not doing my homework.
i don't know what to say. i mean. well.
it is kind of your fault.
you had me pick a word. just one little word.
so i did.
i picked

it is a very tiny word, only three letters.
but see
i sort of got too busy living my word to do my homework.
that word.
you can't always predict what's going to happen with her in the mix.
sometimes my homework for olw, well,
it didn't get on the list
the now
live life list.

so my dog didn't eat my homework.
i don't have a dog.
i just didn't do it.
because i was busy with that word of mine.
i took it on a vacation even.
we've been busy together, me and now.

me and my word
well it's an every day thing.
we are kind of bffs and all.

but last night
i stayed up till 2am
because i couldn't take it anymore,
me and now,
we wanted alone time together.
so i made the time in the inky quiet black of night.

i sat and listened to 4 months worth of videos
printed out 4 months of handouts and transcripts
jumped without abandon into 4 months of prompts.

and i just wanted to say
you may not see me on the discussion boards
i may not have done my homework on time
but you teach me.
you have changed me.
thank you.

i have a new friend, me and now.
the relationship has changed me
and it is all your fault.

your student

And in case you are wondering there will be another One Little Word class next year that will repeat the same prompts again for your new word (class materials and presentations will be updated to reflect my new word and I'll be doing them along with you once again). In addition I'll be offering a second class option that will be more focused on inspiration and writing prompts. More details will be available towards the end of the year.

53 thoughts

  1. Susan Anderson

    2011-08-30 12:18:26 -0400

    Her letter reminded me to start spending time with my OWL - Believe. I needed that prompt.

  2. Karen Mountcastle

    2011-08-30 12:56:07 -0400

    Wow - this has so been me and my OLW. When I came up with my word last November I never dreamed the places it would take me - and it has in spades. My word was storyteller and in about six weeks my siblings and I are going to launch a blog that tells the extraordinary story of an old friend. And it was my idea, my OLW that led to this. Oh my, the places you will go, if only you let your imagination in the driver's seat! Thank you to the poet and to you Ali!

  3. Jolynn

    2011-08-30 13:10:56 -0400

    That was very cute and creative. Me and my OLW are just now gaining more momentum, now that my daughter's wedding is over. Thanks for sharing.

  4. jesa

    2011-08-30 13:16:25 -0400

    What a clever little piece! Thank you for sharing it.

  5. Maureen

    2011-08-30 13:56:32 -0400

    Thank you fellow student. That was wonderful! and thank you Ali for bringing this type of thing out in us.

  6. Laurie

    2011-08-30 14:31:08 -0400

    What a great poem. I love it.

  7. Carrie

    2011-08-30 15:46:29 -0400

    That photo is gorgeous!

  8. Candy

    2011-08-30 16:21:26 -0400

    Of course, this is the reason I don't participate. I know myself too well. Sad but true. Life happens. But I try to learn one thing every day. About something. Wherever I am. And every day I try to teach. One thing. to someone. And it may be my teens or not. Because life happens. Of course, with my attitude you wonder if I ever finish anything! But I do, actually. I just accept myself as is. And then I try to do the same with everyone else...and therein is the hard part...but I try!

  9. Deb J

    2011-08-30 17:29:33 -0400

    This is great. What a neat thing to do.

  10. telisj

    2011-08-30 17:49:37 -0400

    Love this! I am in the same boat as this OLW student & she has given me hope. So happy you'll be teaching this again next year!

  11. kat-in-texas

    2011-08-30 18:38:16 -0400's so....In!!! :)

  12. Janet White

    2011-08-30 20:42:14 -0400

    SWEET! OLW has an amazing impact if you let it in. Thanks for all you do!

  13. Anthea

    2011-08-30 21:21:14 -0400

    I know how this student feels. My class notes are printed, the handouts are printed and I've watched the videos but have I done the homework - NO. My word was Aware, and I am more intune and aware of what's going on around me and I often chastize myself when I get slac and say to myself "Be Aware" but the homework still isn't done but the message behind the work has got through.

  14. Debbie in AZ

    2011-08-31 00:29:05 -0400

    I've been faithfully doing my homework. My word is Believe. I'm trying to get my own small non-profit organization off the ground and I've had lots of ups and downs with it. OLW has helped me stay focused on and Believe in my dream and keep on believing even when it has been frustrating and difficult. I really enjoy OLW and look forward each month to prompts and assignments. They remind me, in a gentle but persistent way, to keep on going. Thank you, Ali, for this class and your awesome inspiration. I'm so happy to hear you'll be doing this again next year.
    Debbie in AZ

  15. Amy K

    2011-08-31 06:54:32 -0400

    Thanks for sharing this awesome letter.

    I have thoroughly enjoyed OLW. I have embraced the process and stayed committed to completing the assignments. I am thrilled to hear you will be offering OLW again in 2012, as it's really made a difference for me in keeping my word at the forefront of my daily life. Thank you from the bottom of my healing heart Ali, and to my fellow OLW students for the constant inspiration and encouragement.

  16. Jessica B

    2011-08-31 09:17:13 -0400

    TFS this it is awesome!

    I haven't done every month, I have been sort of picking and choosing what I want to do. For me, this is working perfect. I love OLW and it seems to pop in my head just when I need it most!

  17. Tinka

    2011-08-31 10:56:19 -0400

    Love that!

  18. Jeanne Ann

    2011-08-31 12:27:06 -0400

    This was perfectly, honestly me and this project. My OLW "more" and I have been getting along quite well, if not overdoing at times, but during the process I have been learning to love my OLW. It was chosen with much thought and heart and it is just what I wanted out of a word. I haven't gotten past the first month project, but it is always there hovering in the back of my mind and with just a few short weeks until the chaos eases I am looking forward to finishing out the year much better than I started it. Thanks to you Ali and to "student" for putting into words just what I have been feeling.

  19. messy gypsie

    2011-08-31 23:13:32 -0400

    This is of intentions aside.......I have kept my word close...I started the album....have read most of the prompts...stayed true to the intention of my word and embraced the concepts you and other "students" have shared. I guess this is really what it is all about in the end. Living with a purpose, some focus and in the moment. I cant tell you how inspiring you are, individually and through the connections you grow. Thanks Ali and the rest of you that inspire me today and everyday. Life is not easy but there is always a choice in how to approach it.

  20. patty

    2011-09-01 08:08:38 -0400


  21. Nicky

    2011-09-03 11:02:13 -0400

    So so happy you are doing the class again next year. I have loved it so much! Thank you - this class has changed me in so many ways and I am looking forward to a new word next year.

  22. Mary

    2011-09-03 22:32:20 -0400

    Thanks for sharing your post it truly helped me RELEASE (my OLW) all the guilt I have for not keeping up with the posts. Thank you to all the other blog readers for reminding me I am not alone in not keeping up and that it is totally OK to start over in 2012!

  23. Susanne

    2011-09-04 16:11:51 -0400

    Thanks for that letting us read these words!

    Will be part of the class again next year, enjoyed every month of your prompts and really made progress in working on my word in a positve way!

  24. MJ

    2011-09-06 00:13:15 -0400

    I haven't taken your OLW class but have almost finished working through the prompts to "Yesterday/Today" and only have to finish "I believe". It took me a long time, many emotions and thoughtful moments to work through each of the LOs. Thank you so much for your effort in making that class too! It was so worthwhile! I finally made some LO that featured me!

  25. ale

    2011-10-15 09:31:13 -0400

    totally awesome!

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