Letter to Someone (The Matchbox Diary)

Dear Freddy 


How are you?


I know you’ll never be able to experience the sea like I will. So I’ll feel the waves for you.


I arrived a day early, and I was thoroughly surprised. The atmosphere was… different. No trees. No grass. Instead, smoke and oil. Flame, crackling flames with the bash of waves — and with the “thump thump thump” of scurrying feet. I strayed from the crowds, zig-zagging through groups of street urchins. I stayed on the top floor of this quaint little place called “Hotel Fernando”. The view dropped, like a pit. I’d never want to live in a place like this, but I’d wish for you to see something as great as the contrast between land and sea. The ship powered in during the first cries of dawn, steam expelled from its top. A large crowd seemed to gravitate toward it. I watched from afar. The boarding process was easier than I’d imagined. Simply slipping through the lines. From the deck, you could almost feel the waves within you, sloshing around. I tried to picture what your face could’ve been like. Pure happiness would gleam across you, and I would be happy too. I’ll be back soon, okay. Remember me if you can. 



I’ve seen those cascading waves, crashing against the rocks spiking out from the sea. I wondered: Am I like those rocks? Like one big animal, snoring, rumbling shifting positions. It bothered me, oddly, like torture. How could anyone rest here! But the time for rest was coming, candles melted into wax puddles like “lava”, the molten flowing rock from the stories.  “They’ll be out soon” I thought to myself , and then…darkness, musty, sweaty darkness. Slap and tussle from all sides. In that torture there was isolation, and in that isolation, the seed of thought. Matchboxes were everywhere, and I put them to good use. I wanted to keep this knowledge of something new. The picture of my life had been drawn on, and I wanted to acknowledge its existence.


And it was done, a piece of my life locked away in a tiny space. I looked at Mother, who was a statue. I wondered if she was still alive. A warm glow casts a shadow over her. Deep breaths, while she fiddled with her fingers: Her go-to move when stressed. “Maybe I’m more alike to that rock than I thought”.  Even the waves sloshing around silently beyond those old, crusted walls bothered me. It tickled me in an uncomfortable way, and it kept on, scratching the back of my mind. Rattling, shaking, our fragile leather suitcase (which let out a pungent, moldy smell, far greater than the odor of  built-up sweat) was a seat for my sister. We stuffed our most valuable possessions, but those were items looked poor in the face of those rich men, who drove around in their cars.

God…  I hope America is better than this




(This piece of writing is based on the drama work around this book. Most likely, there will be more work relating to this)

The Bridge

The Bridge is a poem by Joy Cowley. After discussing the meaning of a bridge, we decided to create our own version of the poem. A bridge, in simple terms, is a connection. A connection can mean a lot of things. Try and figure out what type of “bridge” I’m writing about. 🙂

Ballet in a Box

Art, what is it? In simple words, it’s something that expresses creativity and imagination. Which means that art can be a lot of of things. I love art because it can lead to anything. Which is why I was sort of stoked to be watching a live performance of Ballet. I say sort of because I’ve never really been interested in dance. But art is art, no matter what form it takes. A quick bus drive later and we’re at the Due Drop Events Centre. I wolfed down my Skyflakes, leaving a carpet of crumbs on the grown.  A minute flies by and now we’re seating directly in front of the stage. The seats were a double-edged sword. Siting so close that I had to strain my neck to watch the performance was not ideal, but since we were so close, I caught every last detail, which could’ve evaded me had I sat closer to the back. I was talking with a friend when the lights dimmed and the whole theatre went silent. I sat back on my mildly uncomfortable folding chair and waited.

The first performance was “Flower Festival”, a flurry of precise jumps and kicks. It made me feel very sophisticated watching it, although normally I wouldn’t describe myself as a sophisticated person. Once the performance ended, I clapped along with everyone else. I’d give the performance an 8/10. I’m not a dancer, so I can’t comment on the movements, but everything else was great 🙂

Next up was “Frenzy”. This one was my favorite because of something that had happened a week prior. An instructor from the RNZB (Royal New Zealand Ballet) came to our school to give us a sample of what to expect. At the end of the session, the instructor taught us the beginning of “Frenzy” I thought it was a tough, even though it was clearly a watered down version of what it was supposed to be. When the performance started, I was blown away by how complex this dance actually was. A collection of erratic movements and whole lot more floorwork than “Flower Festival”. The claps the audience gave were like thunder. I’m guessing this one was going to be a fan favorite. This was a 10/10

The next and final performance was……… I actually can’t remember the name of it. Anyways, the whole thing took around 30 minutes maybe. This dance took place last term, and I’m writing this blog a day before school starts, so my memory’s a bit foggy. From what I remember, there was a girl, who had special connection with nature. Then another village moved into her village. The girl then fell in love with the other village’s chief. Then it was happy for a bit until the arriving village started taking advantage of the resources around them, bleeding the land dry. The girl’s special connection with nature cause her to suffer because of their actions. The arriving village’s chief heard what his village had been doing, fast forward a dance routine or two, and now all the arriving village’s people were on their knees begging for mercy. The story ends with the “evil” village returning all the stuff they took. In my opinion, the whole dance was great, but it didn’t tickle my fancy- 6/10

Another painfully long bus ride later, and we make it back to school. The rest of the day was empty. After two weeks of not completing this blog, then on the last day of vacation I suddenly finish it, I can safely say that that day was… aight. 9 .4/10

Also, here’s a picture of the school playing a game before the performances


Em’s Letter to Her Grandma

Dear Grandma 

Hi, I think I messed up

I know you won’t be able to read this, but now one else will. I’ve been staying at Darren’s place secretly. His mother almost caught me yesterday: I had to hide in a closet. After almost a year, my Dad finally texted me. It took me having to disappear for a week for him to actually care about me.

I know you’ll be wondering why I ran away. It’s mostly because of dad. Apparently, he wasn’t always like this. Mom told me this story a long time ago. My Dad and my brother got into this huge fight, which made my brother move to Australia – Dad hasn’t been the same since.

For the first couple days, I slept on park benches. It wasn’t too boring, since I had brought my phone. Fast forward a few days and I ended up at Darren’s. That was when I realised I had forgotten my charger. Since Darren still has to go to school, and my only source of entertainment is dead, I have to spend half the day hiding from Darren’s mom.

To be honest, I wish I had stayed. I thought running away would make things easier, but I’ve only delayed the problem. One day, I’ll have to go back, and I don’t think I’m ready. Ever since we moved, I haven’t been myself. I want to shout and play like I used to, but I can’t. It’s like there’s this hand that grabs my voice and shoves it deep down down my throat. I want to face things head on, but I’m weak. I know you wanted me to be strong, but I can’t. I couldn’t live the life you wanted me to live, and now I’m wasting away in my best friend’s room.

You said you would always be proud of me, no matter what I do, but how can you be proud of me right now?  I’m so weak, and one day I’ll have to face my reality. I’m sorry I couldn’t be strong, I’m sorry I ran away like a coward; I’m sorry I’ve let other people push me around. I hope you forgive me. 

Love, Em



This might be the final work Room 8 does in Emily’s Backpack. In a single letter, we had to explain where Emily had been, and why she left. This letter is addressed to her Grandma, who is dead.