Dear Cornelius

Dear Cornelius,

It is wonderful to meet you, even if only over the internet. I do hope we can be friends.

Oh, my apologies! I haven’t introduced myself yet. My name is Aylin. I hope I meet your criteria for a pen pal. I think my life is interesting, at least to an outsider, and I suppose that I could be considered smart depending on one’s standards.

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Is it customary to send one’s pen pal a pen in this era? I did not think it was so, but if you would like I could send you a pen.

Video games are not necessarily bad, but “all things in moderation” is a healthy way to live. I permit my ward, Miss Mia, to play video games, but only after she has completed her homework, her extra-credit, her piano practice, her violin practice, her exercise and yoga, and her emotional control exercises.

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Naïve is a state of mine meaning that one believes what is said, no matter how ridiculous it may be. Gullible is a synonym for naïve: it means the same thing.

A half-brother is a brother who only shares one parent with you. I suggest asking your teachers more about genetics and DNA if you are confused, but the short version goes something like this: Every person is made up of lots of tiny parts called cells, too small to see with the naked eye. Each cell contains deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, which is sort of like a list of instructions for what the cell should do. DNA is a little different in every person, which is what makes every person different; the instructions tell your cells to make you, your mother’s cells to make her, your father’s cells to make him, and so on. People aren’t the only thing that has DNA: all living things have their own lists and their own instructions.

When a baby is made, it gets its own list that is a combination of the lists of the parents. So, your list has your mother’s list and your father’s list. Now, you may be asking something right now about why your lists are different if you have the same dad, but that’s not how it works. You have the DNA of the guy who was your dad when you were born, and your list will never change. Since Colby’s birth dad is different from yours but your moms are the same, he’s called a half-brother since only half of your DNA is the same. If you had different moms and dads, your DNA would be completely different and you would be called stepbrothers instead (if you want to know why ask a linguist: that’s someone who studies words and where they come from.) (Oh, by the way, you pronounce it dee-en-ay, not dee-nah.)

I’m sorry if I bored you! I just like explaining things. It’s one of the things I studied; I know a lot of things, but I used to be bad at explaining them, so I studied teaching so that I would know how to explain the things I know to other people.

Yes, you did use the word quota correctly. Quota is pronounced kwoh-ta and it means the amount of work you have to get done by a certain point in time. If you need any other words explained, ask me or your mom!

I do not intend to kidnap you. I’m not sure what I’d do with another kid.

Perhaps I will come to visit you sometime, but I’m not sure your parents would agree to let me. Not now, certainly – we barely know one another!

Well, I should wrap this letter up. Till next time,

Aylin

P.S: I certainly hope your dad isn’t pregnant! Boys aren’t supposed to get pregnant. Maybe he was abducted by an alien.

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