This August was the beginning of my third year of teaching. Last year was a definite challenge, but I felt real good about this year. I was convinced that this year would be just a ton better. Luckily, for the most part is has. Last Sunday brought with it an experience I really could have gone my whole professional life avoiding and being just fine. One of the teachers from the high school called and told me that one of our students had died. The details surrounding his death are vague and I don't think the full truth will ever be revealed. I think this hit me hard because in all three semesters at Pleasant Grove this student had been in one of my classes. He was for sure not the easiest student to deal with in class, but he always meant well. It is like my principal said in the newspaper article about the death, there was not a mean bone in his body. I will not lie, there were many things that Jeffrey did that were truly confusing. In the end though, he always thought what he was doing was helpful or in the best interest of everyone else.
Yesterday, Sarah and I went to his service. The fact that there is a funeral can be sad because it means that someone has passed away. Especially in this case when the deceased is a 15-year-old boy. I thought his church did a fantastic job of truly making it a celebration of life. The turnout was impressive. The number of students that showed was particularly touching. I say that because it was not that Jeffrey was unpopular, it was just that he didn't hang out regulalry with one group. Overall, the support of some members of the student body was touching. At school some students organized a fundraiser to help his family. It was an incident that reminded me that while some teenagers can be real difficult there are still a number of compassionate and caring young adults.
While that ordeal was a considerable downer, the rest of the week was rather decent. This weekend Sarah and I registered at Target
and Bed, Bath, and Beyond
. I will just say it: some of the things we registered for seemed rather over the top. At the same time, I understand that nice dishes and glasses are traditional things that couples register for in preparation for a wedding. We did not finish registering, but we did get off to a good start. After starting the registering process I did not realize it would take so long. One of the guys who helped us at Bed, Bath, and Beyond said that couples put a lot of time into choosing what they want and many people end up walking in on the day of the wedding or shower and just end up getting a gift card. I am not sure what point he was trying to make with that. I just looked at him and asked what was wrong with that. I guess I don't know as much as I need to about this stuff. On Friday, I worked the gate at the football game. It is a nice way to earn a little something extra on the side. Also in the earning a little something extra on the side category I just finished working the scoreboard for volleyball here at BSC. It is always fun to see an opposing coach get a yellow card (warning). My knowledge about volleyball is real basic so I did not know if his complaints were legit, but it was fun to see him challenge the referee. The situation was comical. What did he honestly expect would be the outcome when he consistently asked the head official if she was "going to make a call?" three times when she warned him to stop. Truly, it is fascinating stuff. Then consider his team was getting schooled and he does not take a timeout. If my volleyball knowledge is basic, then my opinion about coaching moves is not worth a three dollar bill. The fact that the opposing team was down by about 10 in the third game and dropped the first two games and did not take a time out until his team was 4 points from the loss was unexplainable. I could not help but think that those timeouts do you no good on the bus. I guess he figured out like everyone else did that the match was already decided so why even bother.
I have nine more days of school until our long October weekend. Last year it was a full week and I used that as an opportunity to head home for a few days and also head to Seattle to visit Matt. This year in an effort to create a 180 day school year (the number of days that is pretty much standard), instead of the 175 day school year we were on three days were taken from the break. It is no big deal because teacher salaries were boosted a little to accomodate the extra days. The down part is that with the bump, at least in my case, that meant more was witheld for taxes. I am aware that some of that will come back to me next year at tax time, but that is very little consolation at the time when you compare what you actually got to what was earned. Oh well. What are you going to do?