The shooter was a kid who I would describe as a big teddy bear. He never had issues with other kids and was very popular. Now, he might not have been the best student academically, but he wasn't a kid who I would expect this from. I could make him cry if I wanted to.
I spent the rest of today watching my current seventh graders work in pairs and then separate and cozy up in bean bags for silent reading time. They are so small and so innocent and so ignorant of how cruel life can be.
Which of these will I be hearing tragic stories about in 2 years?
Which will not make it past the age of 20?
After I left teaching in juvenile detention, I would follow the crime beat in the Boston newspaper. Many, many of my former students are dead. It's not shocking to me anymore, but it is still saddening.
The Mississippi River is mostly frozen over. Yesterday, we drove up river to look for eagles and to check out the amazing and beautiful ice floes. The ice is broken up into 2-inch thick slabs and there are actual snow drifts across the ice in some places. When you stand still, you hear the quiet sounds of the ice moving and cracking against itself. Even the sun doesn't penetrate the frozen, otherworldly feeling you get when you see the ice field.
I imagine the hearts of the mothers involved look like this. Cold and broken with no signs of life.