Today I found out that a number of my students have been reading my blog. That makes me enormously happy for a couple of reasons:
1. I love when people read my blog. I don't know if it's pure ego, or if it's my belief that I actually have something to contribute to the human race and it's being received. Anyway, read on, Readers!
2. I love the idea of students witnessing the power of writing - as a healing force, as a means of exploring your feelings, as a way of reaching out. I want them to remember this power the next time they feel like asking, "How long does this paper need to be?"
When I think about my students from this year, I feel sad and -- what is the word? When you've let someone down. When you had a holy task at hand and you were simply unable to complete it. I'm not ashamed -- if anything, I showed them that sometimes one priority simply trumps another, even if both are precious. Similarly, it's not guilt that I feel, exactly. I guess it's just this feeling that I wish things were different. I wish that I were there with them in the classroom when they stumble across a truth that will stay with them forever, or when they forge a sentence that shows them what all this revision stuff was for, anyway.
For now, though, all that we can do is go along. They will do their student thing, often asking how long a paper has to be, but also occasionally encountering deep truths; and I will do my teacher-qua-cancer-patient thing, writing and posting and wondering what they're thinking.