My Freedom Writer’s Diary

I know I have betrayed my students by neglecting my own blog for several months, so here I am, trying to get back on the line, (thanks for “Freedom Writers” movie and “The Freedom Writers Diary” as triggers).

I started writing my diary (again) last night, and I thought it will be nice to share it here; and here’s what i wrote…

Dear Diary,

To be honest, I’ve written several diaries before this one, but I haven’t succeeded to maintain it well. What I can say about myself is that I’m a good starter but I’m pretty bad at being committed to any particular thing. Take this “Diary writing” activity as an example. The first time I wrote my own diary was when I was in elementary school. I can recall the shape, the color and even the smell of the book. My first diary was a gift for my, if I’m not mistaken, 8th birthday. So, I was in the third grade of Elementary school at that time when I started my own diary. The diary was pretty nice, and classic. It has musical theme on the cover. It’s not so clear any more, but I can still remember that it wasn’t thick, quite thin, and light. The color was a combination of light brown and yellow. My favorite was that it had a lock on it, complete with two small keys, one for a spare. I don’t really remember exactly what I wrote there. But, I can remember that I wrote several poems. Probably it was for my mother, or my crush back on elementary school. After that, I had several diaries, and I never ran out of paper at that moment, since I get bored so easily in writing diaries, so most of the time I just completely forgot where I put my diary.

But somehow, sometimes that strong will to write suddenly occur. Anything can be a trigger, any experience, like a long talk or a discussion with someone, a lousy TV program, a moving story, a disgusting movie, or maybe an inspiring book. Just like today, the moment when I started to write my diary again.

I read two pages of The Freedom Writers Diary. Well, it ain’t precisely two pages of the real “Freedom Writers Diary” since I have just reached the foreword which is written by Zlata Filipovic (who is mentioned in this book as the author of “Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo”). And, I hate to agree with certain critics who said that the “Freedom Writers” movie is not as well pictured, not as moving as the book. Well, I guess it happens all the time right? And somehow, it took me only two pages to decide that I have to pass this book to someone else immediately, I certainly have to share this reading experience with my students. The idea of this book is strong and contagious. Can you imagine two pages of foreword can light the fire on my dark study room, encourage me to start writing my dairy again?

Ms. Ika (one of my colleague in the University, and of my best friend) told me that this book is a page turner. You just can’t stop reading. It gives you fuel to pump up the class. It might sound like exaggerating, and might be overwhelming at the same time, but somehow, it does. I wonder if someday I can write this kind of book, a kind of book that will change people’s world. A book that can break the system. But I can see already that this book had done something to Ms. Ika. Yesterday when we had a lunch with Courtney, … it was a simple lunch and a very long conversation in addition, she proposed me to have a kind of English Club that Courtney had suggested before, to give students room to explore and improve their capability as well as their critical mind. I agreed at once. Frankly, I can’t hardly wait to start, but I just don’t have a clue what kind of program that we are going to have in this English Club. But I’ll figure it out soon.

By the way, I found a very interesting, intimidating and as well inspiring quote from Zlata Filipovic’s foreword on “The Freedom Writers Diary”,

It would be easy to become a victim of our circumstances and continue feeling sad, scared or angry; or instead, we could choose to deal with injustice humanely and break the chains of negative thoughts and energies, and not let ourselves sink into it. Writing about the things that happen to us allows us to look objectively at what’s going on around us and turn a negative experience into something positive and useful. This process requires a lot of work, effort and greatness, but it is possible,…

Some simple words tied together and turn into a very moving quote. So it’s true that we don’t have to use sophisticated language all the time to talk about a very crucial issue. We just have to tell it with such a pure heart. In pure heart comes wisdom.

And I completely agree to Zlata. It’s difficult but it’s possible. Well, then I have an excuse of my being lazy to write my diary. *wink* lol

Guess, a lot of effort will worth the price later on someday.

So, again I will say… WRITE YOURSELF DOWN!