TW: Death of a student

I try to write useful pieces here, but I’ve found that writing is where I do my best thinking, and this is where I write. So today, I’m writing for me.

A student died yesterday, and I feel numb. A vibrant, strong, hilarious student died yesterday, and I’m really struggling to belive it. A student, my student, who had just graduated and had so many adventures to experience, died yesterday. He is gone and we are still here, trying to make sense of the senseless.

When David signed up for my AP Spanish Literature class in the spring of junior year, I knew who he was but hadn’t taught him before. As I worked to get that new group of students ready to take the course their senior year, David and I connected right away through humor. David was a jokester. He did everything and anything to make me laugh and get us off task. I didn’t mind. I’m so glad I didn’t mind.

We laughed a lot. When I broke up his crew of soccer players and assigned partners, he said “Miss, how you gonna do me like that?” with a big grin on his face. When I collected homework, he and his friend would look at me and say with a laugh, “We got you tomorrow, Miss. Swear!”

His playful banter with his teachers and classmates was well known throughout the building. A classmate who he often annoyed in class with his goofy behavior sent me a message last night: “Mira maestra. I was looking through my phone and came across these [pictures]. He’d always grab my phone during your class and start taking random pictures.” Sure enough, all the pictures are clearly taken in my classroom. You can even see me in the background trying to teach, oblivious to the camera.

I could say so much more, and someday I probably will. Unfortunately this isn’t the first time I’ve lost a student, so I’m flashing back to that previous tragic loss as well. For now, I will keep this wacky Spanish class selfie in mind and try to remember all the laughs.

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