Lesson in Integrity: 72-Year-Old Retired Teacher Keeps a Decades-Long Promise to Students

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Former Staff Writer
2 min read

In a world of flakes, one 72-year-old retired high school English teacher is taking enormous pains to make good on a decades-spanning promise.

In his English classes at Bert Fox Community High School in Saskatchewan, Bruce Farrer asked students to write letters to their future selves. And now, he is going to great lengths -- by employing social media as well as more traditional investigative means, such as 411 -- to deliver the thousands of messages 20 years later, according to the National Post.

In addition to giving his former students a priceless glimpse back into the hopes and dreams of their adolescence, Farrer’s undertaking imparts its own lesson of commitment.

Related: Oklahoma Makes Personal Finance Mandatory for High School Students

“We say we’re going to do something, whether it’s in a marriage, or with our kids,” Farrer told the paper. “I think it’s important to have a sense of commitment, and maybe in a minor way, the kids see value in that.”

He stows the letters in five bins at his farm outside of town and sends off them off during the slower months of winter, licking every envelope.

While some students express delight in revisiting the serendipitous coincidences -- crushes turned wives, for instance -- that have come to pass, not everyone is eager to look unflinchingly back at the past, Farrer said.

“I think some of them are embarrassed by how immature they were, but when you’re 14, you’re immature. And some of them don’t want to show it to their spouses or their parents,” he said.

Related: Want Loyal Customers? Talk to Your Hair Stylist.

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