A Dose of Reality

So I'm sloooowly working my way through twenty-five ten-page research papers, alternately commenting, disagreeing, cheering and shaking my head.  The proliferation of misplaced commas and plagiarized passages is depressing.  The occasional smooth transition or original idea is encouraging.  Mostly, I'm just hoping I'll finish soon.

This article*, then, helped remind me of how lucky I am to be teaching these students, and how lucky we all are to have such a stable existence:
Twenty percent of Fern Creek’s students are homeless, and school is the best part of the day for many of them. All eight members of the Collins family — Brianna is the oldest of six children, including three who are too young for school — live in a 13-foot-by-15-foot windowless room and share three bunk beds. It is a great relief getting out in the morning and off to school.

“They love Fern Creek,” said their father, who lost his job hanging drywall after the economy collapsed. “I can’t say nothing bad about Fern Creek.”

The children’s mother, Felica Blue, who lost her job working the 11 p.m.-to-4 a.m. shift cleaning the arena after the Orlando Magic’s basketball games, said: “They love Fern Creek. Brianna’s always talking about kids from her class.”

Ms. Schreffler is struck by how happy Sydney is despite her circumstances. “She’s so grateful. It seems like everything is, ‘Thank you, Ms. Schreffler,’ ” she said.

So sad.  So inspiring.  And now, back to work.

*By the way, I've finally found a use for Twitter: a loophole toward unlimited access to the New York Times! Just search for what you want (I tried "NYT education") and read away.  My theoretical support for their new capitalist venture does not translate into financial support -- remember, I'm Armenian -- so I was glad to find a free source with which to indulge my news habit.