Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Aha! Moment

My Aha! moment this week is that life simply isn't fair sometimes. We all know this in the abstract because we have experienced this unfairness, but over time those concrete experiences fade or are compartmentalized in the back of a cerebral shelf. Our students tell us their stories and we empathize the best we can while working to stay on top of our own lives. We walk into classrooms intending to help students gain a more complex understanding of themselves and the world around them through the curriculum we teach, and they accept those challenges the best they can. They leave stronger and more complex than when they walked in. We gain insight through teaching a novel that we love or through explaining how to craft a good argument. 
Then, a tiny voice wakes me up at 4:00. The groggy thoughts begin to move around. First, I have to pee. Then I hear my dogs breathe. My youngest cat turns in between my knees. I reach for some water and begin considering writing prompts for final exams. I sigh with a mix of exasperation and relief that Jason will need to make me some strong, yet delicious coffee in a few hours. All of this is how I avoid the fact that sometimes the world just isn't fair, and despite all of our work as academics, tragedy stops for no one. 
A few hours ago I found out that my daughter's nine year old friend has brain cancer. The little girl who was playing on the monkey bars last time I saw her cannot even walk now because of the brain surgery she had last week. 
Aha! Sometimes life just isn't fair. That helps put it all into perspective as we get set to finish the semester and assign grades. 

1 comment:

  1. Your post reminds me to put things in perspective. Thank you.