Shaddup Already!


a first day of school

Today was Aaron's viewing. He is going to be buried in Puerto Rico, so there is no funeral locally. I really am outside of my comfort zone when it comes to death. I know it's not something many people are comfortable with, but it is something that really puts knots in my stomach.

I decided to go to the viewing to show support for his family. I've always liked his mom and now his sister is a student of mine. I just wanted to let them know that I remember Aaron and care deeply about their family.

I had kind of prepared myself for what he would look like in his coffin, but I was way wrong. I don't know why I assumed he would look the same as he did when I last saw him. I knew his leukemia had come back and I knew he needed intensive chemotherapy in the recent months. Somehow, it never occured to me that he wouldn't have hair.

It was so sad and surreal to see a student of mine lying in a coffin, surrounded by toys and pictures, dressed in his karate uniform.

It's really not fair, I wouldn't want any of my students to die, but this is a student who did everything right. His family did everything right. They were involved in his schooling and his life. They supported him through difficult times and advocated on his behalf. They instilled strong values in him and taught him to continue on despite difficulties. School was a top priority for his family and I think that helped him. He was the one student who always asked for make-up work and then he did it. He took pride in his work and never used his illness as an excuse to do any less than his best.

Even now his mom is concerned with his sister's schooling. She has requested work for her to do during the two weeks she will be out. What an important lesson that is--we're in pain now, but life goes on and we need to continue our work for the future. I wish all my students' parents cared half as much as this mom.


Today was the first day of school and it went fairly well. It's so funny to see how quiet the kids are this week. It will never be that quiet again.

Of course they have loaded my 8th period class to the gills and they put in a bunch of talkers. Grrr. I cannot wait until January :o)

I played a game with two of my classes today. It was a true/false quiz about teacherlady. One of the statements was "I'm afraid of snakes." Nearly every single child said that was true. They were shocked when I said I wasn't afraid of snakes, but spiders, yeah. I did mention that I wasn't about to go out and grab a water moccasin, but they didn't freak me out either.

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