Monday, December 1, 2008

Feeling Worn Out

So, after the big move we hightailed it up to Minnesota for Thanksgiving. We didn't even take time to unpack all of the boxes--we just left. The weekend was a good one, though.
  • On Tuesday we drove. The cats behaved, and we stumbled into Eagan before nine.
  • On Wednesday we saw family and then met a bunch of friends at Kieran's in Minneapolis. Michele will have to post pictures soon. This event involved vomiting, and I wasn't the culprit.
  • Also on Wednesday, Chef Jeff* and the Titanic** took custody of Zorro, who will now be known as "Wash." Word has it that the kitten loves baby Kaylee. He also likes the other humans in his new home. I may not live long the next time I get to Minnesota.
  • On Thursday we had brunch at Michele's parents' house, and then we had dinner and pie at my mom's place. My poor mother is still trying to cope with her formerly-carnivorous son's conversion to veggiedom. On this day I ate too much, and I saw that it was good.
  • Also on Thursday, Jam and Brigadoon took custody of Gollum, heretofore to be known as "Casey." Casey might be the cutest kitten I've ever seen. Seriously.
  • On Friday we met more friends at the Bone. An awesome pizza and several Summits entered me. And a small Fat Tire. It was good to see the crew. Again, Michele will have to post pictures.
  • On Saturday we ate at Noodles & Company. If we did nothing else on this trip, Michele would have been satisfied with this visit. Then we had dinner at the Chef Jeff/Titanic home and I was so beat I was falling asleep while the Demon Nephew climbed on me.
  • On Sunday we drove again. The three remaining cats behaved themselves, and we got to Norman (after skirting the required accident) a little after eight. Then we collapsed.

On Monday I showed my students a movie. That's what we're doing in class all week.

To change the subject entirely, I'm going to change the subject entirely.

I root for some students more than I do others. I especially appreciate the kids who pay attention, recognize when they cause their own problems, accept criticism as helpful commentary, and keep in mind that they're in a classroom for a reason. I had one of those students this semester, and at one point she missed a deadline. True to her nature, her reflective writing for that day was self-admonishing, but it showed how much she wanted to succeed. Then she started missing class. Then she missed several weeks, and I assumed I'd never see her again.

Over Thanksgiving weekend I recieved an email. Not from the student, but from the college. The email informed me that my student had died in October, and that she was removed from my class roster. I felt sick. Even though she was eighteen years old I couldn't help thinking of her as a "sweet kid." Quiet, shy, attentive. The kind of student I wish I could replicate.


I did some digging, and I found a newspaper item about her death. She's the last one listed. Apparently she was driving at 1 a.m. on October 19 when her car left the road and collided with a tree. They misspelled her name.

I feel sick again.
*He likes to cook. So there.
**I'd feel terrible about giving a woman this name if she wasn't so tiny. There probably has never been a person less titanic than her, but this feeds into an old inside joke. Ha!


Anonymous said...

That's sad about your student. It took them long enough to inform you.

Jason said...

I'm sure they spread the word as soon as they heard.

Just a sad situation.

Nik said...

It was really great to see you guys! Glad you got home safe too.

Wow, how weird about your student. And so young.

Jess said...

I know a little bit how you feel, I think. One of my former students died the year after I left MN, and when I heard the news, I felt something that's hard to explain, really. If my students told me "I can't explain; it's too hard!" I'd roll my eyes and say something like, "Suck it up and try it," but this feeling I'm still trying to work out. I mean, there she was--some girl, some student--and she was with you for a certain period of time, and your two lives intersected, and you both tried to do a little good, and then she's gone. It just doesn't feel right.

I know what you mean.

Jason said...

I mean, there she was--some girl, some student--and she was with you for a certain period of time, and your two lives intersected, and you both tried to do a little good, and then she's gone.

That's exactly it. And, as cynical as I am, it isn't hard to see the good in some specific people, and while I know life isn't fair (or anything near it), my mind boggles at this kind of thing.

But everything haunts me, so I suppose there's nothing notable here.