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Dear Caleb: Do Well in School

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I am writing this for my baby brother, who is only two years old right now. Our age gap is nineteen years, and sometimes I could be mistaken to be his parent. Though I hate it when people make that mistake, I eventually realized that maybe I can be more than just a sister to my baby brother. Maybe we could have enjoyed being siblings if we were not too “aged apart.” In fact I was able to have a happy childhood growing up with my other three siblings currently aged twenty-two, eighteen, and thirteen. But then our youngest sibling came when the rest of us were already adults and teenagers. We would not be able to share the same childhood experiences we had with our youngest brother. And that is why I feel I should be more than just a sibling. Perhaps along with the maturity and knowledge I have gained as I entered adulthood, I feel that I should also carry a responsibility over my baby brother. And though ours with be a different sibling relationship, as I would be the one rearing him as well, I do hope that he grows up well just as my other siblings and I did.


So I’d be writing my baby brother some letters that I hope he can read when he grows up. I hope through my letters, he can learn a thing or two on how to face his life up ahead. Maybe he can look at these as sisterly advices, or words of wisdom from a person who’s already experienced what he is just about to. His older brothers can teach him about computers and technological stuff, and his other older sister can teach him about food and cooking. But as for me, I’m going to teach him about academics, relationships, and other bigger concepts in life he may want to ask about in the future. So let me begin by teaching him how to study well in school:


September 4, 2009


Dear Caleb,
Today, I am writing you the first of the many letters that I will be writing to you online. I wanted to have this letter online because this way it would be indestructible. And maybe, others can learn from what I want to teach you as well. So prepare yourself boy, and do take note of the things I am about to say.
When you start going to school, particularly in grade school, I want you to have a good start. You will encounter a lot of new things you haven’t encountered at home, and you may always want to run to our parents for help. But don’t bother them too much, you can always come to me as I would always be happy to guide you. Now, I want you greatly value education, because it would be a great key for you to reach your dreams. And you may want to follow these advices for you to be able to do well in school:


Treat every subject as important.
I know that you will encounter subjects that you would like and dislike when you’re in school, and probably you would do well in those that you prefer and perhaps would not give much interest on those you don’t like. But for the most part of your student life, you really can’t choose the subjects you want to study until you reach college. So study each subject well, be it math, science, or history. As you give each subject equal importance, you will be able to balance your grades well. I know you may take a liking in one or a few particular subjects, which would probably be an indicator of the career path you would want to take in the future. But don’t neglect the other subjects, because it is equally important for you to pass them as well in order for you to advance to higher studies, and eventually to the field of interest that you want.


Focus, listen well and always ask.
Alright brother, as much as possible, I don’t want you to sit next to a blabber friend, near the classroom windows, or near the doors. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted while inside the class, and most especially when the teacher is lecturing. When in school, always remember that you are there to study, not to chat with your friends or daydream while staring outside the window. Also, always keep your ears open to what your teacher is trying to teach you. In doing so, you will also be able to process everything your teacher says, and if you were able to grasp something that you think is incorrect or debatable, raise your hand and don’t be afraid to point out the area for correction and debate. Also, if you think your teacher is not making sense to you anymore, don’t hesitate to ask and ask until your brain gets satisfied.


Study with friends.
When in school, though it is also effective to study alone to have better concentration, it is also good if you study together with your friends and classmates. Remember that you and your classmates are all students and it would greatly benefit all of you if you help each other learn. Learn to share to others what you know and don’t hesitate to ask others as about what they can share to you as well. But I know that when in a group study, it is always possible to deviate from studying and do something else like playing and chatting. So brother, let me remind you that group studies are done for you to study, and be the one to call the attention of your friends to go back into studying when their minds start to wander off to somewhere else. Besides, you can always have fun after you are done with studying, just finish everything you have to study first.


Hang out at the library


Whenever you have free time, go to the library as much as possible, and not only when you have an assignment or project you need to do and the internet resources you have are not enough. Perhaps in your time, you’d be spending more hours in front of the computer rather than in front of books. But let me tell you that the books in the library are an abundant source of knowledge that you can’t sometimes find in the internet. The library can also be a place of solitude; a place for you to relax and have a peaceful time. So when you’re bummed out or when you had a bad day at class, go to the library during your free time and grab a good book to read for you to chill out.


So those are things you can do while in school in order to do well with your studies. But of course your learning does not stop at school, you also have to do a lot of learning and studying while at home, and perhaps I will write to you about that next time. Now, grow up smart and always yearn for knowledge.

Your sister,
Abby

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