••• Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sad and Sadder 

Today I observed a student in a 9th grade English class. They were reading and discussing the Dylan Thomas poem Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.

Even though the poem is about an old man dying, when the student read the final two lines, "Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, Rage against the dying of the light," I thought about the tales of courage and heroism,now pouring out of Virginia.

As a mother of a college student, I can't help but feel a connection to Monday's events. As a mental health professional who works in a high school, this week I'm feeling physically and emotionally vulnerable, and oddly defensive.

I was talking to a student in my office yesterday, when a fight broke out in the hallway. While wrestling for the best take-down position, the students banged themselves several times into the lockers. It sounded like gun shots.

But it wasn't.
But it could of been.
And it took several minutes for my heart to return to it's rightful place under my ribcage, while I played my best porker face for the client.

The truth is, none of us is too special for tragedy.
Not a one of us is entitled to the promise of security. Or sanity.

And no, college students shouldn't die like that.
Neither should children in L.A. Or Pennsylvania. Or Kabul.

Neither should wives, in their kitchens.
Or husbands, in their beds.
Or soldiers, anywhere.

The English class is held in a science classroom. As I listened to the discussion of death and youth and the meaning of "dark is right," I noticed the day's agenda for next hour's Biology class, posted just beyond the English teacher's head.

1) Finish worksheets.
2) Start Evolution.

I really like the sound of number 2.
Who's going first?

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