Tuesday, April 12, 2005

How To Feel Bad

1. Be an elementary school teacher in an economically bereft area.

2. Have conversations like:

you: "What's wrong?"

student: "My life."

"What about it?"

"I can't stop thinking about my mother."

(The mother that died last year while the student was in second grade. The year her grandmother died, two weeks later. This year no one died, but her apartment did catch fire.)

"What can I do to help you feel better?"


"What's something that would make you feel better?"

"I just want to die."


At 4:28 PM, Blogger Jo-Fan said...

I feel you. I am ill equipped to counsel teens who are forced to confront death frequently. Just this year my kids already have had to deal with three deaths--one suicide and two gang-related murders. They respond well to art projects, though, and expressing their grief through art. I don't know much about children's lit, but there must be short stories about a young protagonist who deals with the loss of a loved one? The kids could read it and write a poem for a loved one afterwards, or build a small-scale monument to remember a loved one.

At 4:34 PM, Blogger Joe Rice said...

This particular child, I think, is being made to deal with it before she's ready. The father wants her to go to the grave and she's not ready. She's been on a real tear, writing a lot of unpleasant things and then flipping back to happiness. It's sad.


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