Despite the overall greatness of yesteray, my day ended far worse than it started. I found out that one of the North Carolina students I taught during the in-person summer session was killed in a car accident. She was a wonderful girl...smart, vibrant, motivated, and so very caring. She was studying criminal justice with the intent to enter law enforcement. The great and tragic irony is that she was fresh out of high school and fresh off of a very involved senior project in which she worked with law enforcement to study and help prevent the rapidly rising rate of youth deaths in car accidents in her county. She was killed in that very county by a drunk driver.
She's the second student I've lost in six years of teaching, and that's two too many. Even though they're technically "grown up" by the time they step into my classroom, I can't help but think of them as my babies in some ways. You see them day after day, get to know them, they make you laugh, occasionally they make you cry, they learn and grow up a little more right before your eyes, and you always hope they go on to full lives.
I'll be thinking of her family today.