Have you ever just wanted a day to be done, with all your heart? At the same time, you don't want to be done with your coffee, because that will mean that you have to get up from your chair and get the day started. Really. I just am not confident about this material. I am not seeing how it fits together, what the purpose of it is. I have this idea that if I organize the material, it will make sense to me, but you know, I tried that. I tried to organize it, and I couldn't. By the time that I was done, it made less sense to me than it did when I started even.
Young Girl sat in on our study group. I was surprised to see her, because the group project had been so traumatic, for all of us, I suppose. But I saw her walking to our table, and was surprised that more than half the group muttered, "Oh, gees, it too late to hide?" I mean, she was a major problem in the project. Major. But she's not a problem in the classroom, really. She is vague and asks off-the-wall questions sometimes, that's all. We got the use of a conference room, and that was nice, because we were able to shut the door, talk in normal voices, and we had a white board to diagram long term goals and short term objectives. At one point, everyone was calling out answers to a question John had asked, and Young Girl said, sweetly smiling. 'We could make a story, you know, about going to the ball field, I don't know, some sporting event or something, and then we...' And people were staring at her as she wandered off. We were afraid to follow for fear we would get lost too.
I'd sat at the far end of the table, with my chair turned sideways so that I could hear everyone, and I watched this tableaux. Young Girl looked around and said, "Why is it, when I talk, it is met with dead silence?" And she smiled sweetly. Someone said, "Because I never understand what you're trying to say." Someone else said, "When you talk, I need to process it."
From my own corner, I sat quietly and watched. I felt really sorry for her, and I wanted to say something afterwards, but I did know know what to say. I did not know how to help her. I do feel bad for her, because it struck me, for the very first time. This girl is very smart, but she is not going to make it through this class. The classroom we use the majority of the time has tables, and we sit, two to a table. I know her seatmate has moved. She said that Young Girl just talks too much. She felt that it would be easier to focus on the teacher if she did not have this meaningless chatter going on. Young Girl has some sort of a problem. That problem is beginning to isolate her.
Earlier in the morning, I'd been working on another paper. A name popped up on IM, and I saw it was the young separated woman that had lost so much weight it was shocking. Remember how I'd vowed to be a friend to her? I tried, but she suddenly just stopped coming to class just a couple weeks after school started. I sent her a concerned e-mail, but received no answer. I'd forgotten about her in the crush of school work. I hailed her, via IM, and told her that I'd been worried about her, asked her what had happened. The words came up. She was taking a break. She'd tried to commit suicide. She was getting help. I was sick as I read her words on the computer screen. Walking across the parking lot after a very long day, I think about her again, even as I think about Young Girl. I drove to work still thinking about that. We all need to feel like we fit. We all need to find our place. I make a vow to be more patient with Young Girl, and to help her if I can.