When I heard of the horrific news of the deaths in the Santa Maria nightclub fire in Brazil I immediately thought of my student. She spent a year in Brazil a couple of years ago in the Southern state of Rio Grande do Sul and I was pretty sure she must have been close to Santa Maria.
The first thing one of my students said when I arrived in class this afternoon was:
"Did you see what happened in Brazil?"
"Yes, I did, what an awful tragedy!"
And then I saw her and she looked absolutely stricken, so I knew at once. I said, "C, I thought of you as soon as I heard the news, did you know anyone who was killed?"
She just nodded, trying to control her tears, trying not to fall apart completely (I'm crying just writing this). I could just say "I'm so so sorry!" over and over again and go give her a hug.
We couldn't talk because I had to teach the class, but I asked whether the town where she had been was nearby (it was right next to Santa Maria) and whether she had ever been to that nightclub (she had not) and then I asked whether she had called her friends in Brazil (she had, that's how she had found out).
I am going to write her an email and let her know that she can talk to me if she wants to. I had never been in such a situation -- knowing someone who had been directly affected by a huge tragedy that had been in the news all over the world.
Has that ever happened to you? How have you dealt with it if it were one of your students? Please let me know.
You Know You’re A Gardener When…
3 hours ago