Tuesday, September 8, 2015

"It Gets Better"

A year ago today, lesson plans at Daley Plaza.
A year ago today I might not have believed I'd still be teaching community college. That first semester was so difficult--learning what the students could (and mostly couldn't) do, feeling so alone, hours upon hours teaching myself what I take for granted in grammar.

I've been thinking about what to say to the struggling heart. "It gets better," is bubblegum lately. Has been. At first it was meaningful, and then it was viral, and now it's even beyond irony. It's old. So what is there to be said? So many suffering peoples. Many inside that large square I call work. The first essay prompt is "What is an experience that changed your life and why?" My student asks if I can look over his outline about his divorce. Lord help me if I had been a college freshman with one marriage come and gone under my belt!

I imagine that student from last spring who needed help coming to my office. What would I say if he did? It does get better? Then I think, I'm not sure it does. I surely can't promise that. It could get better. Maybe it doesn't. But, I thought, you do. IT might never get better. It might be the pits for your entire life, but YOU get better. You learn and you grow and what was once The End is now an ant hill.

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