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.