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13 March 2021

Posted by Tabby Hayward

PAST AND FUTURE ME

11-14 group - 14 attending
15-18 group - 12 attending

Inspired by 'The Lottie Project' by Jacqueline Wilson (and 'Revolution' by Jennifer Donnelly in the older group) today we imagined what our lives might have been like in a historical time period of our choice,writing in the form of a diary. We started by writing down three things we did yesterday and a time period we are interested in (e.g. drank tea, went to school, watched TV - time period: Victorian England) and then used these details (and the Lottie Project as inspiration!) to write a diary entry as our imagined versions of ourselves in the past!

Here's new young writer Lola's brilliantly entertaining diary entry - see if you can guess the historical time period...

Dear diary,

Octavian just left for school and I am left with my lyre teacher. Mr Culum is such a bore! I wish I could go to school with Octavian but my uncle Julius Caesar will not allow me to leave our villa, it is rather sad.

I am secretly writing this in the lavatory. It is not the prettiest of places to be honest, but it keeps sir Culum out and that is what matters. I will stay in here until my break when I can play with Mulo, my pet deer.

Until next time,

                                            Orcid.

And here's Eve's (focusing around the discovery of penicillin!)

September 28, 1928

I have finally returned from my absence at long last. Grief does things to people, and I find myself a spectre in my own home, and my own laboratory almost constantly. It does me no favours to dwell over her demise but I find my mind frequently wanders. It seems selfish of me to remove myself from my troubles, if only temporarily, because there is this pressure to remember her all of the time in all of her flawed yet beautiful ways but I find this only makes her image more blurry. It seems even more selfish to devote my life work examining the very thing that bound her last days of existence to something resembling such pain and misery. Even worse that I spent more time fussing over plates of agar rather than telling her I loved her. I think even on my dying breath that will haunt me.

Nevertheless, I am back in my laboratory after a long time and I find myself feeling like a ghost more than ever. The radio I neglected to turn off on my departure sounded like a dry throat, or a shrivelled flower, perhaps. It seemed I had tried to fill every possible space with science junk so I could forget about the emptiness you left behind. The sink still has that perpetual teary eyed drip. My papers were mottled and covered in dust but as luck would have it not completely spoiled save a crusty tea ring left from an old cup on one of my research report drafts. It is a shame to have to write it again but it will prove a great distraction from the dark parts of my mind. Writing is the mundane part of being a scientist, but I cannot say I abhor it.  

There is nothing mysterious about my lack of organisation, for death and scatter brain makes an eternally messy scientist. But there was something mysterious about my agar plates. Upon closer inspection it is as though an entire garden has overtaken them. Some bacteria is there, the ever persistent staphylococcus, but most of all the survivors are surrounded by her fallen comrades. Not septicemia, though I saw many succumb to it, but to a mold like moss growing over them. It took me some time to realise it had fallen from the ceiling. I suspect my fellow scientists will run me ragged when they find out I left my plates open so irresponsibly. Bacteria is money. The thought of this lecture is filling me with inexplicable dread. If I could understand people I would have not carved out half my life to hiding my sense of self in biology. But this cannot be mere coincidence that it has killed off my samples. I must investigate it further. It would be foolish of me to not investigate with this potential sign from the other side. This chaos is calling me. 


:After sharing these diaries, we then looked into the future instead, writing a letter to our future self. We looked at examples of writers writing letters to their future selves at the start of the Covid pandemic last year (some young writers remembered doing a similar exercise back then, and wondered if as much had changed as their former self had hoped!) In their letters, the young writers were challenged to include things they wanted to remind their future self about, questions for their future self, and hopes for their future self.

Here's Safir's:

Dear future me/ cyborg, Are you like Iron man yet. No, no, no, don't tell me you aren't. Someone is evil and they sent out bad boy robots. YOU ARE SUPPOSE TO BEAT EM UP. Actually, I don't know if you are a cyborg yet.  ANYWAYS, You can wear your cool spy glasses while reading this so you feel like the FBI. I have a question. Do people in your time have invincibility to pandemics? If they don't, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? YOU CAN'T BE IN ANOTHER PANDEMICS, MAKING THOSE ZORBING THINGS A SHIELD.

And here's Jasmine's:

Dear future me: 

hey, so its been a while..are you still reading? are you still obsessed with dragons and guinea pigs? do you still like the music you like now? well, whatever the case, i hope you are doing okay, i hope ill do okay too.

And here's Lola's:

Dear me.
             Please, please, please say that you moved away from the sprout. By that I mean Ethan, our brother. I do hope this letter finds you in a hundred years, and if you find this hard to read I will translate this into zombie language…NOW!    Hum num gaaaaa bla. There you go.
Now to business! Are you dead? Are you rich? Are you poor? Did you marry that ugly boy from year three? If so I hope I die early. Any hoo, are there hover cars?! If there are hover cars then I do hope there are books that fly to you.
Did you get the book you wrote published? If so I want some of that mula!
Anyway see you never- because you are me- zombie me,
                                                            From non-zombie Lola.

Next week, we'll be continuing with our time traveller's adventures - stay tuned!

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