Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Tomorrow our school is hosting a Peace Site dedication ceremony to honor our school's inclusion as a peace site. Our principal, Dr. O, is supposed to be in attendance because he was the main figure behind getting the process rolling. This was before he was diagnosed with ALS, before his body began to fail, before his body stopped being able to breathe or swallow on its own, and before we were told that he had days, weeks, or months left to live.

The senior class is the last class that has really known Dr. O as our leader. This is the same class that was forever changed by two suicides within a month of each other and a fatal car accident all during their freshman year. This class is woefully unprepared for what they are going to see tomorrow.

How do you prepare someone to see the dying? The kids know that he isn't well; they know that ALS is a terminal disease. But in their minds, they see him as they've always seen him. They don't see the wheelchair-bound, 110 lb, oxygen dependent man that will be in front of them tomorrow.

I'm really glad that this dedication ceremony is taking place and that Dr. O will be (hopefully) able to attend. What angers me is the utter lack of concern being shown for the feelings of this senior class. They need to be prepared for what they're going to see before they have to see it with their own eyes. Tomorrow's ceremony will be emotional enough without having the additional shock and trauma of seeing how different Dr. O appears from when we last saw him. I will do my best to prepare the handful of students I see in a day. That's the most I can do, I guess.


jamais vu said...

On the other hand, it may be an object lesson from the Universe. Some of those young adults will realize in a flash of satori that life is fleeting and there are no guarantees of happy endings. A kind of real-life lesson in why we must seize our days. :o)

Kelly said...

Oh I think it's definitely one of those life lessons...this class knows about unhappy endings from three funerals in one year. Tomorrow will be another lesson that their "teachers" should have prepared a little better. Some of us did--there were several teachers that tried to prepare the kids today--but the people whose job it was (our admin) totally dropped the ball. But, I guess that's what happens when you're not in the classroom every day.

Carpe diem, right? :)

Anonymous said...

As a senior at school, whom didn't get to attend because of a doctors appointment, I still find it rather a poor decision that they put it on Thursday before spring break and no preparation, as well.

I've been reading both blogs for almost the whole school year. I want to be like you in so many ways after I graduate.

Kelly said...

Well thank you, Anonymous :) Glad you're enjoying the blogs--sorry if the 'teacher mystique' has been diminished slightly by the fact that you know I swear, drink, freak out, etc., lol.
Sorry you missed out on the peace ceremony. For what it's worth, Craig looked really good--much better than I thought that he would. And I was so proud of the students that were there--so respectful and responsive to everything that went on, even though their minds were on vacation and fun.
See you around (though of course only you'll know, lol)