Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Reality stories

Outside class, a student is locked into her device; I say hello. "I'm having an argument," she tells me, and returns with busy thumbs to her device. Outside that same class a couple weeks ago, I asked a desperate young man who was dropping the class, if he wanted me to walk him to Counseling. Another student is doing better on meds; early in the semester he told me he has no interest in school. His pallor was a symptom. He said no. Outside that same class, a young woman tells me she's missing classes because her father is trying to detox at home, but binges every few days. Inside that class, a student bursts into tears because her dialogue essay wasn't funny. Another young woman (out of state) has a mother with pancreatic cancer who wants her to stay in school. Her neighbor in class, also out of stater, lost a friend to suicide; her father keeps threatening it. Inside my other class, a young woman has her head down on the table. She looks up, says things are not going well. I ask if I can help, and she doesn't answer, putting her head back down on the table. In that same class a student is just now coming to class after suffering terrible PTSD and finding no one at the Counseling Center, which has a long wait list. In that class another student writes to me about his meds and tells me he can't pay his rent and has to move. I've not seen him in a long while. In that same class a student has a mysterious ailment that means he has to have constant blood tests; it's probably an auto-immune disorder. He participates avidly, when he's not shrieking in a high pitched cough. In that class, a student burst into tears telling me that she'd had to take on extra hours at work (during my class) because she had to cover rent for roommates who weren't paying. In that class I have a student who now comes to class but who has done none of the work; when I advised her to drop, she said she needed the humanities requirement and did not. I have 30 students total this semester.

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