Civil War Reenactment

My wife and I took a trip down to the Salem area on Saturday and watched an impressive Civil War battle reenactment. The Northwest Civil War Council puts on a living history event each year at Willamette Mission State Park and about 1,000 reenactors participated from the 4th to the 6th of July. Tents are pitched, cooking is done on campfires, and uniforms are donned in preparation for the twice-daily battles.

I think this event takes place on the 4th of July weekend at Willamette Mission State Park. It’s a great way to bring a piece of American history alive.

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Letters from the Future (2034 Edition)

future header

For the past couple of years I have asked my classes to write me a letter. Not just any letter, but one from their future selves 20 years from now. They are asked to reintroduce themselves and remind me about something special that would jog my memory, then go into some details about how they spent the intervening 20 years since 4th grade, tell a little about what they are doing “now”, then tell a little about what’s happening in the world.

These are their letters. Enjoy.

2014-06-03 17.05.09

Dear Mr. Colvin,

You may not remember me, but I was one of your former fourth grade students in 2014. My name is Franny. My older brother Joey had you as a fourth grade teacher as well. I was one of the people in your class who really loved art.

Maybe you’re wondering about my younger sister Willa, and my older brother Joey. Well, Joey plays professional baseball for the San Francisco Giants, and lives there as well. He wrote that in his letter, so I guess his dream came true. As for Willa, she is a singer and designs a fashion line of dresses and high heels, and she lives along the coast of Oregon, close to Cape Lookout, and some of the other beaches around there.

You may also be wondering if I have any pets or animals that I take care of.  Well, I have a puppy and a kitten. But the cat grew up with a family of dogs, so she is perfectly fine with having a dog in the house, even though it is an inside cat and we keep the dog in the backyard. They are wonderful and both my family and I have fallen in love with them.

I am 29 years old now and have a wonderful family. My two kids, Alyssa and Joey, and my husband and I love to travel and see new places. Some of the places we have been are: Costa Rica, Italy, New York, Florida and Paris, my dream place when I was in fourth grade.

I have a Toyota Land Cruiser (perfect for traveling) and a Toyota Prius, my dream car when I was at that age.

I also teach gymnastics. I was a big gymnastics athlete and fan in my years leading up to college. I actually went on to compete at Regionals, and then onto Nationals. I love doing the  sport and have moved on to pursuing my dream of helping other people learn it too.

In my spare time, I love to play with my kids, work out new plans for my gymnastics classes, and play co-ed softball and kickball with my friends at picnics and special occasions.

There have been lots of great inventions since the time I was in fourth grade. For instance: an ipad that can shrink into a iPod or iPhone, and when you tap the screen or scroll to the next page, the background changes depending on what you change it to. Also, when you change the settings, the gadget turns a different color. Lots of inventions have helped and changed the environment. For instance: Solar powered cars. Scientists are still working on cures for global warming, but it is still getting better as it goes.

After fifth grade I moved on to go to DaVinci Art School, and later, went to Cleveland High School and played volleyball. When I graduated in the year 2023, I went to University of Oregon, and did gymnastics and soccer. I got a degree in teaching, so I figured I’d teach sports, and so I did after I retired (from gymnastics,) at age 22. After I was done with school, I moved and settled in San Francisco, California, close to my brother. There, I went on to teach gymnastics and design sportswear.

So that’s a little about me and my years after fourth grade. Hope you remember me now!

Sincerely, your former student,


2014-06-03 17.04.46

Dear Mr. Colvin,

Hello, you might not remember me but my name is テイト. You probably remember me as Tate. Or now, Commander テイト, I have been a Commander in the Japanese army for the last 16 years in the army unit known as the ゴースト unit, I live in Nagasaki near Nara prefecture with my 3 children, Toshiro, Mateshi, and Byakuya. I was the very energetic student that was obsessed with drawing.

After my years at Lewis, I was transferred to Japan as an exchange student, as well as learning to speak fluent Japanese. I have invented a sonic generator to engage hyperspeed in a matter of nanoseconds, as well as a starship carrier, in the shape of an enormous solar ring, known as a Halo.

Core Flare, the organization that I am the leader of, manufactures our recoilless automatic rifles, or the Auto-9 Model Q, and is starting to design Electron DC-15 Model R, that can deliver a fatal blow in one blast.

I have three different houses in Nagasaki, Brazil, and the Bahamas. Unfortunately, my eye was infected during a chemical assault on North Korea, so it was replaced prosthetic eye made from plasma wiring and quartz-titanium alloy, or the S-Eye. It allows me to identify heat signatures through walls.


Commander テイト

2014-06-03 17.03.58

Dear Mr. Colvin,

You probably don’t remember me but I was in your fourth grade class. My name is ____.  Sorry, I prefer to stay anonymous.

Anyway I’m a paleontologist, geologist, computer programer, and a photographer. I’ve discovered two types of dinosaurs: Godzilla (made it up) and a velociraptor.

I have about $5 billion. I have a daughter (Kate) who’s 14 and a son (Carter) who’s 10. My wife is very kind and generous.

We have two houses, one in Orlando, Florida and the other in Chicago, Illinois. I stay in Florida in the winter and Chicago in the summer.

We have to move a lot for my calls to dig sights, well… basically just me and my son. My son loves paleontology and Egyptian mythology. My wife and daughter stay home and travel other places.

Okay, so you’re probably wondering where I went to middle school, high school and college so… I went to Winterhaven for middle school, high school was Franklin and Chicago University for College.

Pollution. Well, it has gotten a little better. I have the fastest electric car in the world so its basically the electric Bugatti.

One of my inventions is the Cablet. It’s a computer that can literally shrink to pocket size with the touch of a button.


____ ______ (aka Sean A.)
P.S We should ride together in my car.

2014-06-03 17.02.43

Dear Mr. Colvin,

My name is Alexander. I was a fourth-grade student in 2013-2014. After fifth grade I went to Hosford and then Cleveland. After Cleveland I went to South Korea for college and my master’s degree.

Today I made a company called Pig Riding Inc. Simon will be the first to know about pig riding. But pig riding is very hard. You have to hold a fishing rod with a carrot on the end of it and you also have to hold on to the reins so you won’t fall off. The pig will be trained not to throw you off. Pig riding might be the most popular thing in the world.

My son’s name is Noch and my other son’s name is Herobrine. They fight a lot of the time.

Simon is now a pro baseball player. Simon plays pitcher  and his number is 37.

My hobby is typing up programs. Over the time I have a lot of time to make lots of programs and mods for Minecraft. I live in Tokyo, Japan.

- Your former student  Alex

2014-06-03 17.04.37

Dear Mr. Colvin,

You may not remember me, but my name is Emmy. I was in your fourth-grade class in 2014. When I was in fourth grade, I wanted to be a singer when I grew up. I was the one in your class that loved reading. I am married now, and have a little girl named Eleanor who is one year old.

I work at the Oregon Humane Society. I wanted to work there because I love to work with animals and I treat them well. When I am there my job is to feed the animals and fix up their cages. My favorite animals there are the puppies.

After fifth grade I went to Sellwood Middle School. Some of the kids that were in my class in fourth grade went there too. After middle school I went to Cleveland High School. I started playing on a basketball team there. Then I went to college at the University of Oregon. I played basketball there too.

After college we moved to Swan Lake, Montana, right next to Swan Lake. There, we had Eleanor. In my spare time I enjoy going on jogs with my friends, and swimming in the lake.

There have been lots of new inventions invented. Like the TV where you can press a button on it and it can make it change color or shape, or the machine that you can color with metal on paper.

Everywhere more animals are becoming extinct, and new video games are coming out each one better than the last.

Sincerely, Emmy

2014-06-03 17.02.35

Dear Mr. Colvin,

My name is Simon. I was one of your students in 2013-14. I was tall and had curly brown hair. I enjoyed difficult math and science. I was born in St. Louis. I practically worshiped the St. Louis Cardinals. I liked Star Wars and Pokemon. I also liked LEGOS and computer programming. My favorite thing in school was Tech and P.E. I went to a math class with Gabriel, Kellen, and Declan that Mrs. Zimmerman was in charge of.

I have a wife and two kids named Jake and Tom, who are twins, and a pet turtle. I still  know Lawson from fourth grade. I know Sean ended up a paleontologist. Lawson is a professional basketball player for the Miami Heat. I know that Alex is a computer programmer. Tanner makes games like Flappy Penguin. My friend Noah is a soccer player for D.C. United.

I am a baseball player for the St. Louis Cardinals. I am pitcher and number 37. I also have a house in Canada. For my birthday I got an iPad 39 and an iPod 19.

Since 2014 they have discovered life on Mars and they have made Pluto a planet again. They also have discovered a new species of animals. They are closely related to turtles but have eight feet.

I went to Winterhaven K-8 public school for middle school and Cleveland for high school. I went to Washington University for freshman and sophomore years and Ohio State for junior and senior years.

I played baseball in high school and college. I almost was a biologist but got drafted in the minor leagues for the Peoria Chiefs. I live in a five-story house in St. Louis, Missouri. I am 30 years old. I used to play for the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland A’s. My parents still live in Portland.

- Simon


Dear Mr. Colvin,

You probably don’t remember me, but my name is Faith and I was the one who liked art, reading, and Chromebook time. I also liked movement breaks.

I went to Sellwood but only for sixth and seventh grades. Then I moved to Happy Valley for the rest of middle school. For high school I went to Cleveland High School. I was a cheerleader there.

There are flying cars and robot teachers and lots of technology. If I ever have kids their names will be Jake, John, Emily, or Samantha.

My mom and my dad are doing great. They’re both really healthy. My little sister Ava is doing great too. Everybody in my family is doing great.

I think my sister Ava will grow up either to be a cheerleader, a singer, or maybe a dancer. She loved it when she was a kid. I’m probably going move to Australia soon.



2014-06-03 17.02.02

Dear Mr. Colvin,

You may not remember me, but I’m Brittany. I was a wagon leader in the Oregon Trail simulation. I have a brother named David and he was in your class too.

I was in your class from 2013-2014. In middle school I went to Happy Valley Middle School. I saw Charla in middle school and we went to the Clackamas High School together. Later on I went to Harvard University where I played tennis for a sport. I also went to the University of Oregon.

I am 29 years old. I have a husband and a son named Blake. We live in Costa Rica. My occupation is a  designer. I have two dogs, a corgi and a Pomeranian, and their  names are Chubby and Fluffy. I live by the beach. Costa Rica is a beautiful place and it has a lot of tourist places. In the summer we usually visit Portland.

It is a lot different now. Yesterday I was looking through old stuff when I found a old art work we did in the year 2013-2014. It was the one I most enjoyed.

Blake is one year old. His birthday is on July 26, 2033. He learned how to walk a few days ago. Oh yes, David is a engineer. Bye!

From Your Former Student,


2014-06-03 17.02.54

Dear Mr. Colvin,

You might not remember me but my name is June. I was the one who loved art and also my mom had a baby named True.

Right now I just moved in to a new house on Oak Drive. I have a husband and two kids named Max, 10, and Judy, 4. My sister (Faye) is well and she has a very good job as a vet. True and Hope don’t have jobs because they are too young to work. My parents are fine and every weekend they visit us and have dinner with us also.

I work as an actress for movies and I just started it and it’s great! Just recently I’ve been in a movie called The Trapper and I was a woman named Louise.

Now in 2034 there are cars that can drive in water and phones that can tell the future.

The environment is great because of the new robots that clean up all the things they see like in the really old movie Wall-E that I enjoyed when I was little.

My hobby is to do crafts with kids and go camping with my family sometimes. I also enjoy  going rafting with all my friends and family.

The middle school I went to was called Sellwood and my high school was called Cleveland. After high school I went to college to try to be an actress, which I am now.

- June

2014-06-03 17.01.05

Dear Mr. Colvin,

You may not remember me but I am your fourth-grade student from 2014, Gabriel. I was fascinated with math and I loved reading. I was the one who was in two math classes with Simon.

I have a beautiful wife and two kids. They were born three minutes apart and are about one year old. My mom is doing fine.  I don’t see my dad much because he lives in Arizona and I have a lot to do.

I am a professor at Portland State University. It took me five years to get my Ph.D. I teach five different classes. Two of my classes are classes that you need to take. I took all of my mom’s classes but no others. The cool thing is it only took me one year to take each class. In a few years from now I can go on sabbatical and I can’t wait! Even though I love my job after teaching five different classes a week for seven years. Add to that, some of the people that failed my classes have been giving me emails saying I should have let them pass. My favorite part of my job is my research.

There aren’t many new inventions yet. People are working on the solar-paneled car, but some cars can drive by themselves. All cars have motion-sensing ability. There are a lot of new jobs since then if I can remember correctly that long ago. I did invent a new fuel for cars. The fuel is firewood.

The environment is a little better but not much. I think the reason it’s getting better is because scientists are learning more about global warming and how to stop it. But it only been discovered in the past few years. It’s not getting much better even though scientists discovered a few years ago because (this is my opinion) of China. The earth on the other hand besides global warming is getting much better. Especially because of more durable trucks. It’s also the people that work at Portland State. I think that because we are figuring out new ways to improve the environment.

After fifth grade I went to Sellwood Middle School. I loved going there. I don’t know why I loved it, I just did. After middle school I went to Cleveland High School. I thought about doing football, but I realised I would probably go into college and into professional football and that would probably give me brain damage. So I just did what I needed to and went on to college.

Once I was out of high school I went to Portland State University. I went to Portland State because I wanted to have the same job as my mom because it’s a really good job. I also went to Portland State because I would be helping the environment.

Your former student,


2014-06-03 17.03.43

Dear Mr. Colvin,

You may not remember me but my name is McKela and I was in your fourth-grade class and my favorite subjects were writing and math. I have five kids and a husband named Larry. I work as a singer and dancer and also work as a vet and I hate seeing the dog get surgery. I love to sing and dance almost as much as my family.

I am going to buy the JetX for $150. It’s a scooter and a motorcycle in one for ages 9 and up! After Lewis in the sixth grade I hated school. The math was very hard for me, but when the math got harder I started to like school. In seventh grade I really loved it. I wanted more challenges and it was a little too easy for me.
And I made it into Harvard. I had to get straight As to get into Harvard. I got on the honor roll in high school and I never got a B, C, D or F ever!!! In college I played softball. I had a grandpa and I still have a grandma and I still have 4 sisters and 1 brother.

The environment is way different then back in 2014.

I miss you being my teacher and I miss fourth grade.



2014-06-03 17.02.12

Dear Mr. Colvin,

Hello, you may not remember me but I was in your fourth-grade class in 2014.

Well let’s tell you some things about me. I was the kid in your class with the glasses and I loved to code. Now I work for Google and I also have my own job at home. I code games for children and I’m making in between $60,000-$100,000 a year. I’m rich!

After that, the schools that I went to were Oak Grove Middle School and Cleveland High School and I went to Reed College.

They have invented pretty cool stuff since 2014 like auto sensing iPads and when they sense you they make the screen turn 3D and it pops up out of the screen and it would be solar powered and its always sunny!



2014-06-03 17.03.35

Dear Mr. Colvin,

I’m Sevyn. I was in your class in fourth grade. I was the kid who loved doing art. Do you remember doing the Native American art and studying Native Americans? I remember when my friend June and I presented our Native American presentation. I was really shy.

Now I am 29 and I have one little girl that just turned two. My daughter’s name is Rachel. I have a husband and we live in Costa Rica and have lived happy lives so far. My little family and I had just gotten back from a cruise to Alaska. I chose Alaska because the summer after fourth grade I had taken a cruise to Alaska with my mom, my brother, and my sister.

I am working on making a cure for diabetes because diabetes is miserable. I know that because I have it. So far I have made a little progress but not much. I have some friends I work with that are helping me and all of us are disappointed in our progress.

There is a new invention. It is an iPhone that can be turned into a iPad when you go to the settings. I have one and it’s amazing. There are some things that I dislike, like the size (it’s like a box or square).

The environment is OK. It is not as great and beautiful as it was in fourth grade. Its kinda gross. There are groups of people that are working on it including me, but there are people making it worse.

After fifth grade I went to Sellwood Middle School and Cleveland High School. After high school I went to Portland State University. In college I studied science and art, my two favorites. In fourth grade I loved art but did not really like science. But science is my job and my life now. Sometimes you think your favorite subject is what you are going to do. For example I loved art and I’m not an artist. I hated science and look at me now.

Now if we jump back and talk about middle school, it was weird moving from a smaller, nicer school to a big, ugly, mean school. But it was fun. We had two gyms and lots of periods. I don’t have a favorite period. Out of all my years of school, my favorite was fourth grade because of music we did and the lots of projects we did.



2014-06-03 17.04.05

Dear Mr. Colvin,

You may not remember me but I was in one of your fourth-grade classes in the year 2013-2014. I was the smallest one there, oh, and not to mention, my name is Somaly.

I live in Costa Rica, I am 29 years old, my occupation is a makeup artist, my two favorite colors are blue and green and when I was in school my favorite subject was art. If you still don’t remember me, I have a sister that was also in your class in the year 2011-2012. Her name is Thidapech.

If you are wondering how l am, I’m good. I have a dog named Fluffy. Fluffy is a Pomeranian. Now lets talk about years you have missed out on. I went to Sellwood Middle School, Clackamas High School and Harvard University.

Not to mention, my family is doing great! My mom and dad live in Cambodia. My sister lives in Portland, OR, as a counselor at Lewis Elementary. Not to mention, my husband and daughter Kate; Kate is 4 months old and very quiet.

Now let’s talk about right now, Everything has changed, like for example your average kitchen is now a touch kitchen amazing right! And your simple technology house is now a floating see-through house. Mostly everything has changed into technology. Cool, right?

P.S I live in Costa Rica now.

- Somaly

2014-06-03 17.01.27

Dear Mr. Colvin,

Remember me? Kellen, a slow runner, (I got better) Rugby/All Blacks fan, I was blonde, somewhat fat, (I lost a lot of that over the next few years) and I was born 3/15/4 (March 15th, 2004). I didn’t like The Secret Garden, I was an expert reader, (and of course, still am) and my favorite book was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. To refresh your memory a bit more, I was in your class during the 2013 – 2014 school year, and I wasn’t very good at art and didn’t like it, in fact, I hated it!! And, my writing and typing skills were phenomenal!! (well, almost.) Wait a minute, there’s something I’ve forgotten. What was it? Ah yes, how could I forget!! Yeah, my favorite TV show was Futurama. Something else. Something to do with cars…. ah, I did love Top Gear (U.K) and something else. Aha!! I loved Mini Coopers (traditional color). As you can see, I was always a weird kid.

But now, 20 years later, I’m a single young man living in New Zealand with a good job as a curator at Hoyt Arboretum getting 40 dollars an hour and an extra 20 for overtime. (It was moved by a tube like machine that’s worthy of Star Trek. You press a button and it asks you what you want to switch with, and where, and it switches.) (Do I get paid enough?) I run the entire building, and tour people around on tour days. And the rest of the time, I’m working on paperwork. (We still have the occasional mouse problem, but we have it under control.)

Also, among other great news, Hoyt’s size has increased by over 100 square miles! In 2014, Hoyt was 95 sq. miles. now, in 2034, it’s 220 sq. miles!! I am also a part time All Blacks player. (Which means I have a hobby of playing rugby). I still want to see France and Mexico, as well as Spain and England. And also, now I have seen the North island of New Zealand, (This is now places that are not islands) Canada, Massachusetts, Nevada, and the 4 corners. (should I count the 4 corners as Nevada?)

And speaking of the environment, the global warming problem has lessened quite a bit. We still have the occasional idiot who apparently hates the world as it is and wants to not recycle or reuse stuff (there’s plenty more where that came from). But overall, it’s definitely gotten better (not by much though).

Among other news, the iPad has now became a well-priced invention, and the clothespin is now a high tech holographic machine that retired gents and ladies have no idea how to work, and they can’t afford a classic! We have hydrogen-powered hover cars (my dad and I were right) motorcycles are high-tech 2-wheeled suicide machines, (just the way I like them) They are also powered on hydrogen and formula 1 is like a slightly safer version of how it was in the 70’s and 80’s, the Top Gear (U.K) men are still on their show from the early 2000’s, (they’re now over 70 years old!) Justin Bieber and One Direction (even though they are now middle-aged men) are still way overrated, and, as for BBC’s Hyperdrive, it’s still pretty popular.

Now, let’s answer the question, what did I do after the 5th grade? Well first, I went to Sellwood Middle School and got an A in math, block, science, Spanish, language arts, and literacy. Then, I went to Cleveland and took the same subjects, (actually, I got an A++ in literacy in high school and middle school), plus rugby. My worst? B+ in science. Not bad, don’t you think?

And now, on to college. I mean, I passed of course, but man, they really took all your will to live. For example, in the morning, we had 30 minutes to cook and eat your breakfast, noon, 1 hour to cook and eat. Night, you had to be in bed by 10 and eaten by 9. (No, it’s not what it sounds like. It’s not cannibalism.) It was 12 hours of training, 7 days a week!! But still, like some stuff, it was fun just getting a good exam score, talking with your friends, and getting a well paying job after a few years at a good college.

So now, (of course) you can be proud of what I have become, and who I have become.

Also, I hope you are as happy and healthy as possible!!!!

From your former 4th grade student, Kellen

P.S. Please write back as soon as possible. (PLEASE?!)

2014-06-03 17.03.20

Dear Mr. Colvin,

You probably don’t remember me, but I was a fourth grader in your class. I was really good at it.  My favorite subject was math. I am 29 years old and I do not have a family. I am a professional athlete.  I play on a soccer team. I live in San Diego right now and it is very sunny! In 2015 I went to fifth grade in Mr. Marchyok’s class. Then in 2016 I went to middle school in Sellwood. Then in 2017 and 2018 I went to seventh and eighth grades. Next in 2019-2021 I went to Clackamas High School for ninth, 10th, and 11th grades.

In 2022 I went to a college that teaches you how to play soccer. Now I am on a soccer team with somebody chasing me to get the ball from me. I have to go.

Oh yes, I forgot some things, my inventions. One is a big machine that you get into and sit in for about five hours. Then when you get out you are one of the best soccer players in the world. The other one is a machine that can change things into a pro’s material for soccer. Last night I put a egg in it and pressed a button and out came a professional’s shin guard.  Those are my inventions.

I forgot something else again about my place. I own a swimming pool, a mansion, a bowling alley, and my own Jacuzzi. I own a soccer field, a baseball field, and a football field.

When I have time I play all the other sports. I also love football, baseball, and basketball. On other days I just play soccer.

I want the world to be filled with soccer players. I also want to make Mars a place that we can live in.  I wish that every planet in space we can live in, because then we can have more worlds.

I did hear that a robot that is named Corky is getting sent to space to see if we can live in space. I hope we can.

When I was living in San Diego we had a tsunami. I built a shield that can make the water go back in the ocean. So when it hit the shield it went back into the ocean.

So I am a person that needs to be around. That’s all I can tell you for now. Bye!!!!



2014-06-03 17.03.05

Dear Mr Colvin,

I am your fourth-grade student Tanner. I used to play with Simon and Alex at almost every recess. My oldest sister is 38 and my other sister is 33.

My job is a Video Game Music Maker and part-time record seller because my dad was a record seller a while back. I did lots of music for new video games for the Wii M and new computer games like Half Life 5.

I have been very successful in school and I did three years in college and I got the job I really wanted to do. I was almost a chef, but I didn’t want to be rushed to cook and be stressed out when cooking and I didn’t want to accidentally cut myself if being rushed to cut stuff and I would probably get fired the first day, so I wasn’t a chef.

There is an Ipod 19 now. A virtual screen can come off and float in your face and you can type on it. There is more storage for apps and data. There are new games on the iPhone I do music for sometimes like Flappy Penguin and Happy Birds 3.

Lots of oceans are polluted and the bees are dying, trees are being chopped down for no reason and lots of animals are extinct because people hunt them for fun and to eat, but they already have pounds of the animal so they’re basically just killing them for no reason.

My friend Simon is a pro baseball player and he is really good at pitching and he hit a baseball into someone’s window. He got four runs in one play, but he had to pay for the window. He won the game because the other team was up by three.



2014-06-03 17.01.17

Dear Mr. Colvin,

I may sound anonymous but I am Sean Straight, a student from your esteemed fourth-grade class. I graduated from West Point (Fort Arnold) and moved to Tokyo, Japan. I  work at Shojo Beat Manga. Miles and I work at the Pokemon Company and draw cool Legendaries.

I drew a new manga called Crimson Sun, a manga that is all about a fallen angel that resumes life as a undercover human who saves the world from Team Blue Flare, an advanced team of gangsters that kill fallen angels and wipes out the population. They have a new weapon for those covert ops.

Back to my own life. I tried something new, eating prawn sushi. I caught halibut and dug it.

I went to Sellwood Middle School and did crazy good in math and I went to Franklin High School to do cool calculus.

I played soccer there too. At West Point, I trained to use firearms to protect my family. Speaking of family, my sons Cho and Shoguko and daughter Mei-Ling do normal kid stuff.

I teach math to my sons and daughter to be smart before they start school. I am 29 years old, my daughter is 9, Cho is 13, and Shoguko is 15.

Since Netflix (I don’t think that Netflix exists) I knew I couldn’t watch Pokemon, but I forgot. I bought some movies of Pokemon that I got when I was 14. I watched Pokemon with Cho. I found my old collection of Pokemon cards that I gave them to Cho for his 13th birthday. In Japan, my wife had her coming-of-age ceremony two months ago. I wish that Oregon had coming-of-age ceremonies.

In Japan, I had a invitation with the Emperor of Japan about my manga. He appreciates my hard work.


Sean S.

2014-06-03 17.01.45

Dear Mr. Colvin,

You may not remember me but my name is Lawson. I was in your fourth-grade classroom in 2013 and 2014. I was the person who liked basketball and I liked the Portland Trail Blazers. They had a great season, too. Remember when Damian Lillard hit the game-winning shot against Houston to win the series with nine-tenths of a second left? I am in the NBA now and I play for the Portland Trail Blazers.

I was first pick overall and the first pick for the Portland Trail Blazers. My team has won five championships. This is my seventh season in the NBA. I am a veteran now so I have a few tricks up my sleeve for the youngsters.

When I left Lewis Elementary School I went to Winterhaven and after three great years I went to Cleveland High School. I was there for a long time and then I could choose to go to five schools: Kentucky, Stanford, Kansas, UConn, or Louisville.

I chose Louisville. I get to see Simon a lot. He was also in your class in 2013 and 2014. He goes to Washington University, which is close to me. Then I got drafted to the Portland Trail Blazers in 2027. I have three houses: one in Portland, one in Costa Rica, and one in Hawaii so that way I can see everyone. I have four cars for my family to come and visit.

My brothers became pro athletes too! Jack plays football and he is the best running back in the history of football! He also is the best receiver of the century! He plays for the San Francisco 49ers and I get to visit him thre times per month! But he does have a house in Portland for the summer, which means that we all have houses in Portland so we see each other a lot!

Luca plays pro soccer for the Portland Timbers. He has scored the most goals in a season! He has carried his team to three championships and he has been playing for three years. He is the best player in soccer history! He has been the player of the year three times!

My mom and dad have a place in Portland and Hawaii. My dad has his own school to help the poor and my mom is a runner so she teaches young runners who are going to be professional runners, so she likes her job as well.

Have you seen the new inventions? There are so many! I have the new car and hovercraft. It is so cool!

From your former student,


2014-06-03 17.03.13

Dear Mr. Colvin,

Hi, my name is Henry. I was in your fourth-grade class in the year 2014. I was one of the kids who loved Pokemon, Doctor Who, and wanted to be a computer programmer or video game maker. I was one of the tallest people in your class, and one of the youngest.

I succeeded in being a computer programmer. I have a good house and good job like I said. I can’t believe how how much the world has changed in 20 years. In the past 20 years I got married and and I have one 1-year-old kid. Well, anyway, I just wanted to say hi.



Dear Mr. Colvin,

You may not remember me, but I was in your fourth grade class in 2014. Now it is 2034! I had a more memorable year than others because my mom had a baby boy named Charlie. Now he is in college. Idaho State University, to be exact.

That is where my mom and Justin live. I live in Montana so we see each other a lot. The grass is greener and the trees are greener in Montana.

I was the one who invented Squirrel Power! Yes, thank you, thank you. It’s like solar power, but so much better. As I told you, we live in Montana, and yes, I mean we. I have two boys whose names are Tommy and Bobby. Tommy is eight and Bobby is four and we are expecting one little girl: Emele. We are so excited about that!

I work as a writer. I write just like the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, which was my favorite book back in fourth grade. To write lots in the fifth grade and up. I really enjoy it. We also have 12 dogs, six horses, and three cows, not to include my two goats and seven chickens and my duck Joe. He is sweet.

Well, I filled you in on the last 20 years.






2014-06-03 17.01.53

Dear Mr. Colvin,

Hi my name is Diego. Now I am now a historian and a soccer player. In 4th grade I loved Mexico, history, soccer, and math. I enjoyed all the projects you gave us. My two favorite subjects were math and history.

I now live in Mexico playing in five different soccer teams: Cruz Azul, F.C. Barca, Mexico, Spain, China for a lot of money.

Since 2015 we have had solar powered cars. Also in 2015 water bears were found the only animal to live in space and water and land. Also we figured out that lobsters  are immortal. And clams too. Lobsters don’t age, they just grow. And clams regenerate every 10 years. Pokemon died out in 2015.

Now there are holograms, games, and there are no more books, but digital devices.  After 4th and 5th grade I played soccer 6 hours a day in summer for 1 month. I read a lot of history books and soccer books. I have a lot of friends and I spend a lot of time working. I  have figured out the Mayas and Aztecs had captured an American soldier which had later on bombed them, killing 80 natives.

My anime has improved a lot and Tate and I might do an anime show. Tate and I have had a lot of the same interests.

I have 30 cousins on each side of my family.

I figured out that Lawson became a famous basketball player and Simon became a famous baseball player.

Your former student, Diego


2014-06-03 17.02.22

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Class Notes for June 9-13, 2014

Well, that just about wraps up 4th grade, for me as well as the kids. I’ve often said that 4th grade is my favorite grade, but as I have never tried 5th grade (except when I was in it myself), who knows? Change has been good for me in the past and I am looking forward to moving up in the world as a 5th-grade teacher next year.

I am sad to leave one of the best teaching teams I have have ever worked with. Thanks to Ms. Sarah and Ms. Rotwein for being such great teachers to work, plan, and eat lunch with! That said, I will be rejoining Mr. Marchyok (we taught 4th grade together our first two years at Lewis) and also will get a chance to work with Ms. Speer.

We are going to make a concerted effort to make it all the way to Oregon this last week for our simulation. It’s going to be touch and go, but we might make it if everybody pitches in and works hard. We have a science work sample to complete that is required by the state, as well as some other tests that are required by the PPS district.

Although we still have work to do, there will be time for fun this last week of school. There is the family breakfast on Wednesday (already in the history books if you read this in the Weekly), there is a memory book signing, there is sidewalk chalk and a blank playground to decorate with Pokemon characters for the summer, there are books to read, math problems to solve, stories to write, friends to visit with, an all-school assembly with farewells to this year’s 5th graders to attend, and our own goodbyes to say.

All of the online activities on the class blog will be active over the summer, so use them as much as you can. But be sure to get outside for the fresh air and sunshine. I remember– with rose-colored glasses I am sure– summer vacation as a time of Little League practice, pick-up games, playing army in the woods behind our house, swimming lessons, spending time with grandparents, reading whatever I wanted to (yes, kids, I read comic books back when I was your age and I loved to trade baseball cards with my friends!), camping, and family trips. Whenever I told my mom that I was bored, she would tell me to go outside and play. That cured my boredom every time! There was always something to do outside. After that little stroll down memory lane I should probably add, tongue-in-cheek, that I walked 20 miles through the snow every day to get to school with a 35-pound backpack–even in June!

I wish everyone a safe and fun summer vacation. Keep reading!

And now, a few random pictures from throughout the year. Feel free to go back through the blog and pull off pictures and articles that you want to keep. There is no guarantee that the blog will be accessible forever, so get ‘em while you can. All you have to do is stop the slide show and advance one picture at a time and pull it to your desktop.

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Down on the Farm!

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Today the class walked down to Jean’s Farm near Johnson Creek. The students were able to experience what it’s like to be “out in the country” right in the heart of SE Portland. I hope to get some student reflections on here in the next day or two, but for now let the pictures tell the story of a near perfect day on the farm.

Thanks to Room 24 parents Betsy, Robin, Gwynn, Julie, and Pam; paraprofessionals Haley and Nick; and my daughter Carrie for going along with us. Lewis garden coordinator Kathleen organized the whole trip and was in charge of the forest station. Jean’s Farm’s Farm Education Coordinator Wendy Bruder was in charge of the farm station, and our very own Pam took charge of the kitchen and helped make some incredible pesto. Thank you all!

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Class Notes for June 2-6, 2014

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These past few weeks have just zipped by! It seems impossible that we only have two weeks left before everybody goes their own ways. There’s still much to do.

Here’s a quick run down of upcoming events: Thursday, June 5, Field Day (wear appropriate clothing and shoes!); Friday, June 6, Volunteer Breakfast at 8:00 a.m. and the PTA Picnic at 6:00 p.m.; and Wednesday, June 11, 4th-grade family breakfast at 8:00 a.m. (more info later on this week on this event).

Speaking of Thursday’s Field Day, Ms. Layman is looking for parent helpers for Field Day on Thursday. You can contact her at

This is the last week of homework, except for reading logs. There is a Language packet on past, present, and future verb tenses and a math packet. Both are due on Friday. I sent extra reading logs home for summer reading with the last packet. I highly encourage students to continue reading over the summer. The Multnomah County Library system has a Summer Reading Program that all students are eligible to participate in. All of the reading and math links on the class blog will be active over the summer, so please take advantage of IXL, Lymboo, Front Row Math, Khan Academy, Newsela, Typing Club, and the Oregon Student Atlas.


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Class Notes for May 27-30, 2014

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I hope everybody had a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. I was able to get together with my extended family over in Madras and we celebrated my dad’s 91st birthday.

We had a little excitement last Friday with the boil-water notice put out by the city in the morning. Water fountains were covered and all students were served milk or juice at lunch if they had brought their own water from home. Volunteers brought around bottled water and cups for thirsty students in the afternoon.

I set up a Signup Genius page for chaperones to sign up for our walking field trip to Jean’s Urban Forest Farm on Monday, June 2. Jean’s Farm is located approximately 1.3 miles south of Lewis School and was originally the 1880 homestead of Tideman and Olavia Johnson, namesakes of Johnson Creek. The  farm is right across the creek from the Tideman Johnson Natural Area.

This trip will be part of our Oregon Trail/pioneer unit of study and features our students dressing up in pioneer outfits and walking to the farm. Students will participate in identifying edible plants, harvesting vegetables grown on the farm, and sampling some of the produce. It’s a fun field trip and we’d love to have you come along if possible.

We spent time last Friday working on a project called Storyline Pages. Students were asked to type something positive about each classmate into their Chromebook. The app that we used, which is part of Edmodo, compiles all of the compliments into a virtual book that the student can read. I am trying to figure out a way to print the books to send home with each student, but that feature is not built into the program. Looking over the work that students produced, I have to say that we have a lot of kind and thoughtful people in Room 24.

We are going to have a Skype session with former classmate Kennedy on Thursday. She’ll fill us in on how things are going way out in Oklahoma.

We have a lot of work still to be done in Room 24. End-of-year assessments, projects to finish, the Oregon Trail simulation, field trips, field day, a party with our reading buddies, work samples, and for me, report cards are all part of the mix of these last three weeks of school.

Homework is the math packet, a language arts packet that covers uses of commas in place of spelling words. There will be a short quiz on the items covered on the commas homework.

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Class Notes for May 19-23, 2014

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During last week’s heat wave we took advantage of a shade tree on the field to do reader’s theater and read aloud. Room 24 is notorious for being overly warm even in the winter and the cool grass and shade took a welcome edge off the heat.

Our current read aloud is the 1911 Frances Hodgson Burnett classic The Secret Garden. It is a challenging book to read aloud because it deals with turn-of the-last-century Yorkshire that requires frequent pauses to explain details that would be easily understood by 1911 readers, but the storyline and memorable characters make it worthwhile. Have your child compare and contrast the main character Mary Lennox with Martha Sowerby, the maid.

Our class has Technology with Mr. Jamesbarry for two more weeks. The students are working on keyboarding (typing) skills for a few minutes at the beginning of class, then they switch to coding activities on Scratch or MaKey MaKey. If your child is interested in continuing to work with MaKey MaKey over the summer, the kits are available on their website. Pictures on the blog show the kinds of activities the class is working on with Mr. J.

The class has started working on our letters from the future. I am asking each student to write a letter to me, their former (and 80-some year old) 4th-grade teacher, from the year 2034, or twenty years into the future. They are to reintroduce themselves to me, then tell me what they’ve been up to since they left Lewis School, and finally share what they are doing “now.” These letters have been a lot of fun in previous years and this year should prove no exception. I will add the letters to the blog when they are all finished.

Homework this week is the spelling and math packets plus the reading log.

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