Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thoughts on CT

I am in the office this morning because I wanted to send a message to some of my students.  My Practicum class has 15 seniors who are out in the community working 8 - 10 hours a week at a variety of sites.  They are an amazing group of young people and as you will see from my email to them this morning, I just wanted to share some thoughts with them about the tragic events in Newtown, CT yesterday:

Good morning everyone - no, I am not in the office this Saturday morning checking on your Journal entries -

I have however been thinking a lot about all of you since the tragic news from Newtown, CT has filled our lives. I seldom wish that the semester goes beyond our ending time but found myself wishing that we were still in session yesterday so that we could all gather and talk about the events that unfolded yesterday and to LISTEN to each other as we all struggle to make sense of the senseless. I posted something on Facebook last night that I have, unfortunately posted too many times over the past couple of years and that was that it IS ALRIGHT to NOT follow every minute detail of such a horrendous human tragedy - it is so easy to become so caught up in the emotions of the event that we are literally unable to function. Those of us who have chosen this profession dedicate our lives to helping others so find it incomprehensible that anyone would choose to hurt and/or destroy others - WE try to make sense out of something that makes NO SENSE now and will, most likely, never make any sense. We all want an answer to the question WHY yet know at some level that that too has an inadequate response.

Watching the President of the United States tearing up during his statement to the nation yesterday is unprecedented - I have never seen something like that in all of my years yet he spoke for all of us when he said that we have broken hearts. He spoke, not only as our President, but as a father - WE don't have to be fathers (nor Presidents) to have similar emotions. Those of you who work in schools or who work with young people, especially will be impacted beyond what your peers are - WE all ask "what would we do?" if we were ever confronted by similar situations in a classroom or our school. Ever since Virginia Tech, I have had a "plan" for protecting YOU should anything like that happen here on our campus in our classroom. Reports are that the principal, a teacher and the school psychologist were among those killed. At a time when "some" have chosen to denigrate teaching and "some" have chosen to speak negatively of the impact that teachers today have and at a time when "some" want to cut down the number of teachers in our schools, to cut back on mental health services for young people and who want to cut funding for education across the country, these people in Newtown, CT only wanted to protect their students.

Please take good care of yourselves, talk with your family and friends about what YOU are feeling about all of this and, while I KNOW that you tire of my telling you what a difference each of YOU make in your setting, be it with senior citizens, on a telephone hotline, working with those addicted to drugs, helping others deal with pain, listening to someone who is mentally ill OR working with incarcerated/protected youth OR working with kids in schools - YOU DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE........ please don't forget that.


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