Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Year of World Leaders

InCoWriMo is just around the corner, and I've been dutifully collecting my addresses for letters. Ultimately, I'd like to write and receive a letter from every state in the U.S., every continent, and -- after a lot of letters and money for stamps -- every country on the map (my letter to Antarctica is on its way...).

But where do I start? Where do you get addresses from? What do you write?!

My students have asked me these questions countless times over the last couple of weeks, and before I joined InCoWriMo last year, I had the same questions. Depending on who you write to, Google can be your friend. Additionally, the forums on InCoWriMo have an address swapping thread for people who want to participate. While I don't recommend students post their own address, I do encourage them to write letters to family and friends. Or better, to a favorite singer or actor/actress. Better still, your favorite author!

Then the next set of questions rolls in:
     "Does anyone ever write back?"
     "Of course."
     "Like who?"
     "Well, I've been writing back and forth with someone from Sweden, and another from Australia."
     "Yeah, but anyone famous?"
     "How about the Prime Minister of Canada and Buckingham Palace?"

At this point, I usually just shake my head and move on, but I was excited to get those letters back. It has inspired me to write to more world leaders as well. Nothing ground breaking or deeply emotional. Just a "Hi! How's it going?" kind of letter with a "Do you use a fountain pen?" thrown in for good measure. Who knows? Maybe they will write back (I'm talking to you, Mr. President. I am still waiting on my reply from last year.)

I'll include a list of people who I've got addresses for, and if anyone can help make the last on happen, you'll be my favorite.

So, who are you writing to?

"The List"

  1. The President of Russia, Vladimir Putin
  2. The Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott
  3. The Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key
  4. The Mythbusters (okay, not a world leader, but I'd vote for them)
  5. Mike Rowe (see Mythbusters above...)
  6. The Mayor of Greenwich, England, Angela Cornforth (this would be a letter from the beginning of time... Get it? Greenwich, England? The Prime Meridian?)
  7. The President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano
  8. His Holiness Pope Francis (yup, The Pope!)
  9. His Holiness the Dalai Llama (yup, him too!)
  10. The Emperor of Japan, Akihito
  11. Robert Iger, CEO Walt Disney Company (again, not a world leader, but I do love Disney)
  12. Howard Schultz, CEO Starbucks (I drink enough of his coffee, might as well)
  13. The King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf
  14. The President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgings
  15. The President of France, Francois Hollande
  16. The President of Mexico, Felipe Calderon
  17. Alton Brown (I used his turkey recipe this Christmas and wanted to thank him)
  18. The President of the United States, Barack Obama (again...)
  19. and (though I'm not sure how I can ever get this accomplished...) the International Space Station (Thanks Mrs. Champion for that request)
There will be more, and I'll post when I get them (and when I get a reply!).

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