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Teacher returns letters 20 years later: Students wrote letters to future selves

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A retired teacher is still doing homework as he returns letters to his students after 20 years have gone by. The letters are mailed to his students who participated in a letter-writing assignment when they were in high school. What did your future look like to you when you were in high school, or do you even remember those hopes and dreams?

According to NewsOxy on April 9, folks lucky enough to have Bruce Farrer for a teacher back in high school have that answer today. They are receiving letters that they wrote to themselves 20 years ago in high school. Talk about a blast from the past and this is all due to the hard detective work of this retired high school English teacher from Saskatchewan, Canada.

Farrer has spent a good deal of his retirement playing detective, trying to find the recent addresses of his students from 20 years ago. Each year Farrer had his students write a 10-page letter to themselves. Then each year, he digs up the classwork from exactly 20 years ago and sends the students their letters.

He collected the assignments and promised to return the letters to the students in an untimely fashion, two decades later! The 72-year-old has much work to do each year, tracing the students to where they are living today, but the students are thrilled when they get this assignment back.

The first time Farrer did this was back in 1961 when he taught in a one-room rural school. It wasn’t until 1977 when he started to do this as a yearly assignment. Students anxiously wait for the 20 years to be up so they can receive their letters.

Kate Machildon’s two older sisters received their letters from Farrer’s class and soon it will be her turn. She anxiously awaits the letter to see what she was thinking 20 years ago. The last group of letters are due to be mailed in 2026.



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