Sunday, May 30, 2010

Joys and Sorrows

Joys of the past week? Visiting Attica, where I taught from 1990-1999, and seeing old friends. Watching two former students, Lavica and Kayla, run the Anthony Vet Clinic so capably reminded me of the importance of the education I helped them earn when they were in high school. I hope I can keep their example in mind as I begin the 2010-2011 school year in a couple of months, remembering that what I do in the classroom may have longer range effects than I can ever predict.
Sorrows of the past week? Two of them have hit home. Another Attica student, Dacia, was one of the two best school newspaper editors I had while teaching there. She took charge of the layout by learning the computer program and using it to produce a nice-looking paper. Dacia and her 10-year-old son Dawson were killed in a car wreck on Friday. The suddenness of such a death always takes people by surprise. Dacia's last facebook post talked about spending time with her family and ended this way: "I am so thankful I have so a great mom. I ♥ you!!!!" What a powerful reminder of the importance of telling people how important they are to us.
The second sorrow concerns the health of Doug Frye, who has been undergoing surgery for a brain tumor. Doug was a student at Bennington. His struggle is far from over, but he has the support of a loving family, and the expertise of the best doctors.
All too often I forget the importance of the people I know and care about, but these two events have forced me to remember to tell them my feelings.

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