Today, I will bid farewell to a student.
His desk, when I entered my room on Monday, was laid out with graded work I’d planned on returning to him, a sad reminder of the unexpected turn of events that life sometimes throws at us…
His desk will remind empty during his class period. I do not think that I nor the students in that class, can bear the thought of someone else filling that space.
When I see the desk, located behind my teacher desk, I am reminded that I will not be able to give this student a high five for Oregon’s win against FSU in the college playoff game. He and I shared a dislike for FSU, you see.
I’ll not be able to join forces with him as I cheer on Oregon in its bid for the national championship.
I won’t see him rushing out of his chair, headed to the hallway, bag of hot fries in his hands, ready to share with the classmates who would follow him out each day, grabbing for the bag as they walked.
When I look around my classroom, when students aren’t there, I see their faces where they normally sit. Each spot carries an aura of the student who occupies it daily.
Each desk represents a student whose life is carving a permanent imprint on my heart…an unspoken conversation…yet-to-be fulfilled potential…a special dream.
Though another student will eventually occupy that desk during that class period, memories of the one who was lost will not be displaced…only relegated to an untouchable place in my heart…a place of permanence…where the empty desk will be filled with a picture of this student’s face.