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August 22, 2014

Dear Ms. Lietz

At the beginning of every year, I write my students a letter so they can get to know me a little better.  Nothing too personal: where I went to high school and college, how many brothers and sisters I have, hobbies, music I like, etc.  And then I request the same favor of them.   I thought I would let you know a little bit about the amazing students who grace me with their presence in my classroom on a daily basis.   So...in their own words....
  • I was born in Deagu, South Korea.
  • I have lived in Morton Grove all my life. 
  • I've gone, and still go, to Polish school every Saturday. 
  • I was born in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia.
  • I was born in the Phillipines and moved to the US at around the age of five. 
  • Over this past summer I went to Pakistan and worked as sort of a farmhand at my uncle's farm. 
  • My mom was a drafting engineer in Iraq, which was her dream job. 
  • I am Filipino Irish and 16 years old.

  • I started to memorize the Qur'an which is the Islam version of the Bible.  I am still not done, but I do not have a lot left.  
  • Two of my biggest accomplishments in my life thus far is becoming a Bar Mitzvah and also earning my ham radio license. 
  • I can say that Christianity is a big part of MY life and also my family's.

  • I'm addicted to cooking shows.
  • I also enjoy going to the beach and hanging out with friends. 
  • You can pretty much describe me as Tomboy mixed within a Girly-Girl. 
  • My hobbies include dancing and singing which are the two things I love doing whenever I can.
  • Paris is the top of my destination list.
  • I participate in "Electric Shabbat" at my synagogue once a month, where we take traditional Jewish prayers and turn them into rock and roll. 
  • I have a cockatil [sic] bird, a few goldfish, and two huge Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs.
  • There was a time we won fifty goldfish at a carnival, but they all eventually died.  
  • Taking pictures is something I have always enjoyed. 
  • I went to Istanbul after I performed Pilgrimage with my mom.  
  • I like the "Outliers" because it proves talent is not just something you're born with, it's something you can have through practicing and opportunities. 
  • Some after school activities I do are cheerleading and Serbian club.
  • Even though liked soccor [sic], my true pashin [sic] is Basketball. 
  • One of the more serious things about me is that I have a disease called Lupus. 
  • I am on the Soccer and Gymnastics team here at Niles West.
  • I happened to watch "Chucky" when I was in first grade...to this day I'm scared of dolls and stay away from American Girl dolls specifically.  

  • I enjoy researching, and previously I had conducted experiments which incorporate taking antioxidants from pomegranates and applying them to HeLa cells to study the mechanism of antioxidants and free radicals and correlate it to cancer growth. 
  • I am now in my third year of fashion, taking Fashion Workshop as a third elective, behind German and band. 
  • I took part in the SSEP program.  I got a chance to design for NASA to fly in space. 
  • When I entered sophomore year, I started donating and raising money for the charity "Relay for Life."

  • I'm warning you ahead of time, I struggle with sciences and get frustrated easily, but that doesn't mean I don't try hard. 
  • I've always thought of myself as more of an "English and social studies person" than a "math and science person"...
  • I am also described as disorganized which I want to fix this year. 
  • I am a strong advocate of our nation's military and am going to join the US Marine Corp for two years sometime after high school-college. 
  • I actually want to work in organizations such as the United Nations and help contribute my service to somehow make the world a better place. 
  • My dream is to attend Berkeley University and major in nutrition. 
  • I took AP Physics because I want to become an engineer when I grow up. 
  • I'm a little torn between making programs and stuff that model diseases and help the medical community, and between making video games. 
  • It's nerve wracking thinking about what the future holds. 
And that's just the start.  I haven't even finished reading all of the letters yet.   They are such a mix of the mundane and the extraordinary, sometimes within the same letter.  I find it helpful during difficult times to know that there is a gifted dancer inside that young man who can't seem to figure out whether he should use sine or cosine for the horizontal component of the force.   They are not all "rock stars" in my class, but they are all unique individuals, with varied gifts and passions.  And I am blessed to know them all.

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