Quote of the Moment

"All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Moved to Tears on Myspace

The new school year is in full swing and I have officially had 5 students ask me to be their myspace friend. I politely declined holding my teacher privacy dearly, but decided to snoop around their sites. What I found moved me to tears and made me call my mom to tell her I love her.

This past summer five students at my school were in a horrible car accident (still under investigation by the way). One of our students passed and another is paralyzed from the waist down. As one can imagine this has been horrible and worst yet, all five of the students are what I would call " really neat" kids. Charlie, who died, was an awesome baseball player, loving brother and all around sweet kid. Stevie is super amazing, extremely driven (she started school two months after the accident and is kicking ass in her AP classes) and full of love. Not to suggest that this loss is validated by there quality of being, but it just seems to have touched that many more people.

Anyhow, what I was moved by was the out pouring of love from gads of students. Pictures, poetry, blogs, songs, etc. all were dedicated to keeping Charlie's memory alive. Perhaps the most moving was the spaces created by Charlie's dad, mom, sister and brother. I was shocked that they have been so candid on there loss. I was drawn in.

This horrible tragedy happened the middle of June and it is still as raw as can be. All four pages are full of pictures of Charlie and blogs of grief, joy, remembrance and anger. His mother posted in the spot titled Who I would Like To Meet: "Charlie at the front door while he says it was all a dream mom". This is the point where I called my mom. This family is working out their personal grieving to the entire myspace community and the students of my high school are holding them the entire way.

There are hundreds of comments posted giving support, sharing memories, just asking why? It is the moments of great pain that truly draw out the beauty in humans. No one knows why a mother has to lose her son the summer before his senior year of high school or his dad will never hug him as he leaves for college. No one knows why a 17 year old girl will never "walk" down the aisle, or "dance" at her senior prom.

What is so hard for me to realize is that as a teacher I have 30 years to meet remarkable young people, but I have 30 years to witness tragedies like this one. I am not sure this is something most careers deal with and I often wonder how much of it I can take.

What I do know is that my students have reminded me that with all of the ugliness around us, things are going to be alright. Love really does keep memories alive and for all the years I see my students hurt there are so many more that I will see their joy. For this I am thankful.


Anonymous said...

I have just in the past two months gotten to know Charlie's dad. He's an amazing man, dealing with one of the worst things a parent could ever have to deal with...but he is just doing so well. He's so proud to talk about Charlie. I cry nearly every time I see him.

It's just very tragic.

roonie said...

I think I want to be a teacher.

That was a sidenote.

That's a horrible thing to happen. Could you imagine if that had happened to us the summer before our senior year? It would've changed everything.

malissa said...

yeah, it is really interesting how Myspace has been used in the grieving process. i think this would be a good PhD subject, just a thought.