What is the first thing that you think about when your eyes fling themselves open in the morning?
The nerve-fraying tones of your alarm clock?
A wish for just one more hour of slumber?
The one million things that you have to do?
The one thing on that list of things that you do not want to do?
This morning, when my eyelids flung themselves open, I looked at the sunlight peeking through my window, and I thought of one of my students.
I thought of his guttural giggle. I thought of the way the corners of his mouth wrinkled the many times he erupted into glorious laughter. I thought of his lanky swagger, his headphones violently shaking to his musical idols. I thought of the determination he had in the end of the year project; he designed a spot on replica of Lil Tommy, the then logo of the clothing brand Trukfit,(his favorite of course) and I thought of his essay that blew my mind: "what if God was a woman?". Now he has gone to dance in the afterworld.
This if the first year in my short time as an educator that I have had the experience of losing students. I have lost two this year. Its hard.
Each one of my students molds me as a person in someway. In the loss, I reflect on how this particular student helped shape me. His mirth served as a means to keep me grounded in the very school that inspired my first book. The days were often hard, none of the students understood why my methods were what they were, and I felt like I was in a losing battle. This boys presence, his keen intelligence, the way he understood and even enjoyed the lessons without letting anyone know that he did, and his joy, his big, uncompromising joy, kept me from floating away.
It has been a summer that has made us all come face to face with our world, the roles we play in it, our love, and our own beating hearts. We effect the world, even if in small ways. When you open your eyes in the morning, do you realize that?