No More Post Offices

By Brewster, Jeffrey C. | Childhood Education, Annual 1993 | Go to article overview

No More Post Offices


Brewster, Jeffrey C., Childhood Education


Hands jammed into corduroy trouser pockets, Aboud walked into class one Monday in the autumn of 1991. His eyes made it clear that something was troubling him. Slumping into a purple beanbag chair, the 8-year-old sighed deeply.

"Good morning, Aboud. You look as though you're thinking hard about something," I offered.

"Yeah, you bet, Mr. B. Last night I told my mother that I wanted to write my father a letter, but she said there aren't any more post offices in Kuwait and no more postmen and probably not even any postboxes because Saddam Hussein has bombed everything. She said I couldn't write a letter to my father. She said he'd never get it."

"So no more post offices and no way to send a letter."

"That's right. And no telephones or fax machines either!"

"You must have a lot of things that you'd like to tell your father."

"I sure do--like about Scouts starting and learning computer this year and how I can make a real good pop-up book now. But I especially want to know when he will come back to us."

Mr. Al-Khamis, Aboud's father, is an official at the Kuwaiti Embassy in Brussels who had flown to Kuwait City on July 29,1991. Two days later, the Iraqi Army invaded Kuwait. Communication between Kuwait and the rest of the world had virtually ceased, yet Aboud longed to be in touch with his father. Although it was not possible to grant this wish in reality, perhaps we could find a way to grant it in fantasy.

"Aboud," I ventured, "even though letters aren't being delivered in Kuwait right now, you could still write to your father. We could do it together. Writing letters could be part of your writing time."

"But the letters can't get to him," Aboud despaired.

"Well, you could write the letters now and mail them when the post offices are working again."

"You mean I could keep all the letters until he comes home and then give them to him? Hey, I could put them in envelopes, put stamps on them and everything! I know what I'll do. I'll put them in my father's special drawer where he keeps his good watch. Then, when he comes back home, he can get my letters all it once."

As he jumped out of the chair, Aboud spotted the three-drawer file cabinet. His gaze focused intently on the shiny, silver lock in the top, right-hand corner of the cabinet.

"Oh, now I've got a really better idea," he said, with just the slightest hesitation. "How about locking my letters up in there? They'd be a lot safer from my little brother if they were locked up in there."

"Why not?" I agreed, relieved at his imaginative response to the invitation.

Aboud gathered pencil, paper and envelope from the writing center and began to write. "Dear Father," he wrote and then paused, sucking on his pencil for several seconds.

"Sometimes it's hard to get started," I empathized. "Let's talk about some of the things that you would like your father to know." After a brief oral rehearsal, he wrote:

Dear Father, I'm in Boy Scouts. I like third grade. I especially like computer and math. When are you coming home?

Love,

Aboud

The weeks of September limped into October. The tension seemed to slow time. There was no word from Kuwait and no relief for Aboud's family.

Then, our international school began to receive telephoned bomb threats. On each of these occasions, the school was immediately evacuated. The stress began to show on the faces of parents, children, teachers and administrators.

Some days Aboud had much to write and other times, very little. On slower days I would offer to act as secretary while Aboud dictated his messages.

On an early Friday in October, after a week of three evacuations, Aboud strode into the classroom, sat down at the computer and typed:

Dear Father, I hate Saddam Hussein. I hate people who ring up school and say a bomb is going to kill us. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

No More Post Offices
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.