In “Oral History,” an essay published in Astra Magazine online, Yiyun Li recounts when she was invited by her child’s third grade class to share a story of what her life was like in the third grade. Instead of telling the true story of a teacher’s cruel punishment of a fellow student and the betrayal and ostracism she experienced as a result, she fabricates a story about the lantern festival she attended. Li writes: “How else could I have contributed to their education? Had I chosen to tell them a true story, I would have inflicted cruelty, too.” Inspired by Li’s decision, write a personal essay about a time you chose to conceal the truth to protect someone. What were the circumstances behind this decision, and what were you trying to protect them from?
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