For spirit week I want you to add tree day. Tree day is where every student goes out into the forest and we cut down a tree. We do it with our hands and we do it with axes. The axes have grips on them so we don’t let go. If we let go it will be very bad. This will teach us important skills, like survival and forest fires. Some of us might grow up to be lumberjacks and it is good to be employed or employable. My dad is unemployed, but if he had a spirit day in 4th grade he might have gone out into the forest and cut a tree down and then he would know how to do something. Momma says he doesn’t know how to do anything, but that’s not true really. He showed me how to prop a chair under a doorknob so that if I was in a room and I didn’t want anyone else to get into the room, they couldn’t. They couldn’t come in even if they asked. They couldn’t come in unless they pushed hard enough to break the chair and Dad said if they did that, wasn’t nothing going to stop them anyway. Some people can’t be stopped. They just keep coming. Dad says they like to come in through the mailbox. You wouldn’t think they’d come that way, but they do. Dad says that’s how everyone is getting him. They come through the mailbox and they make him give them all his money. But if he was a lumberjack he might have money or maybe he wouldn’t be home for people to get him through the mailbox or maybe people wouldn’t want to get him because he was a lumberjack. I’m going to stay away from the mailbox and you should too unless you have a magazine. Lumberjacks have axes and I don’t. Ok, I have to be finished now because it’s been fifteen minutes and I spent part of my time getting the scab off my ankle and then eating it under the desk where no one could see. My dear principal you understand there’s nothing wrong about eating a scab that came off your own ankle. It’s your own ankle and it belongs to you.
I am sincere,
I’m writing you this letter to ask if we could we could add friend day to spirit week. Friend day is where you make a new friend with someone you didn’t like before. It doesn’t matter why you didn’t like them, because they are your new friend. You have to like whatever they like, even if it is something awful like rock climbing. You have to pretend to like it, because it’s friend day. This day is about appreciating other people’s cultures even if they are boring. Or maybe you are boring and you get to pretend you aren’t. This will help many students, I think. Have you met all your students? Some of them need a lot of help because they are very boring. I hope I don’t get paired with them, but if I do, I hope they work really hard to pretend they aren’t boring. This one kid named Mike likes to talk about cars all the time, but it is well known that cars are boring. I looked it up online and everyone thinks cars are boring. Can you tell Mike? I think he would take it better coming from you. He gets upset when I try to tell him. I hit Mike with a rock last week. He wasn’t hurt too bad. I’ve been hurt worse and I didn’t even cry, not like Mike. It was only one side of his head that was bleeding and not much. It hardly bled at all. Mike hasn’t been in school since then, but he will probably be back for spirit day. We all love spirit day. It’s our favorite time of the year. I look forward to your decision, but I hope you will consider my favorite option for spirit week.
Thanks a lot,
I have a great idea about spirit week that you should probably hear. It’s called bring a stranger to school day. I will think of a better name for it later. But it’s great, right? Everyone will find a stranger and bring them to school. The strangers can tell us about their lives. We will learn so much. We will probably learn so much that we can cancel the rest of the week. It takes time to process all the learning. It’s the same with math. Mrs. Higgins says we can’t learn too many new maths in a day or we won’t remember them all. I mostly don’t remember them, so I think Mrs. Higgins might have the number of maths wrong, but she has probably forgotten how hard math is. She does math all the time! Like, for fun! She probably does math at home too with her husband. He teaches at a different school. I think they weren’t allowed to teach at the same school because it would be too much math or they would get caught kissing like my uncle did that time. Anyway, these strangers wouldn’t talk about math. They would say other things. I don’t know what they would say, because they would say stuff we don’t know! How can I know what I don’t know? Come on principal, get serious. This day is the best day and it would be stupid if you didn’t pick it. I’m not saying you’re stupid. Just that you might make a stupid choice. I hope you are having a good day.
My Dear Principal,
I want to persuade you to let us have hotdog day because hotdogs are the best. Nobody ever gets mad on hotdog day. My brother doesn’t cry on hotdog day but he cries on some of the other days. Everyone is mad at him and he cries. They might be blaming him it is not hotdog day. I hide in my closet when it is not hotdog day. My closet is a walk in and has its own light bulb. It’s my responsibility to change the light bulb if it blows. And I’m not supposed to leave the light on when I’m not there, because it will make the light bulb blow faster and light bulbs don’t grow on trees goddamn it. But my brother doesn’t even have a light bulb, so he couldn’t be in trouble for leaving the light on in his closet but he’s crying anyway. My dear principal, hotdog day would help a lot. We would eat them in the yard so there wouldn’t be a mess inside. We wouldn’t wipe our mouths on our shirts. Not our sleeves even. Ants would come eat it if we dropped anything, but we wouldn’t drop anything because my brother and I love hotdogs. Can you let us have this special spirit day principal? Are you persuaded? I hope so.
To My Principal,
I am writing you this letter to say what spirit day I think you should add to spirit week. Honestly, spirit week so far has been pretty poor. The students don’t want to wear matching colors or hats. I think most of them look bad in hats. Only Anna Marie looks good in a hat, but that is because her head is very small. A hat helps her. Anna Marie should always be allowed to wear a hat because she is my friend and she is worried about her head. The boys make fun of her. I think we should have a no boy day for spirit week. They don’t get to go home because they would like that. But they have to sit blindfolded in the cafeteria and they can’t eat lunch no matter what. They just sit there. They can’t even go to the bathroom. I don’t care. They are mean. Anna Marie can’t help how little her head is. She is very pretty and has good hair even if her mother does braid it every day. When Anna Marie unbraids her hair, it is pretty. Anna Marie is pretty. We will creep around the boys and make spooky noises and clap our hands near their heads. Some of them might be scared. If they aren’t, we will hit them as hard as we can. Anna Marie gets to hit them twice or a third time if she wants. Please say yes. If you care about us at all you will pick this day for spirit week.
Waiting for your response,
Brandi Wells is the author of Please Don’t Be Upset (Tiny Hardcore Press) and This Boring Apocalypse (Civil Coping Mechanisms). She's a PhD candidate in Literature and Creative Writing at the University of Southern California and has an MFA from the University of Alabama.