Wednesday, April 19, 2017

30 Minutes and 13 Reasons Why

4:48 p.m.

I read 13 Reasons Why...and loved it.
I've been a fan of YA Lit for a long while and even taught a class one summer, so I shouldn't really be surprised.  
I wanted to see if I felt at all like some of the complaints about glorifying suicide. 
I have to admit that I was a little nervous.
Once I got started reading, I got mad.
Mad at society.
Mad at mean kids.
Mad at parents who don't have these conversations with their kids.
Myself included.
We had that conversation and I gave the book to my 13 yr. old.  I think she was impressed that I finished the book in just a few hours.  
Her mom is an English teacher for goodness sake...not sure what she expected :p
Most of the people I've seen have issues with 13 Reasons Why actually have issues with the new Netflix series though, not the book.
I haven't tackled that yet.

The last week or so of the semester is in full swing.  
The final week always brings students out of the woodwork who all of a sudden have decided they might like to turn in an assignment or two.
They need a C.
They need their financial aid.
They can't fail this class.
I don't mind helping; I really don't.  But I'm not going to help somebody who refuses to help themselves.  The students at this point of the semester who are begging are usually the ones with averages in the 20s or 30s.  The only way to have an average that low in my class is to have racked up 0s all semester...not turning in assignments.

I know far too well that you can't fix things for people.
They have to at least want to work towards fixing it themselves. 
I'm all theirs is they'll meet me halfway.
I had a student today turn in an essay.
Most of our assignments are submitted electronically so they upload files.
The name of her file was: 
Wait for it...

holy shit this was dne fast.pdf

You think I'm kidding, don't you?
Here's your proof:

5:05 p.m. 
My friend Paula said good-bye to her father yesterday. 
She, her mother, and 3 brothers gathered in the small town church they grew up in and celebrated their father's final release.
Their father was the very example of grace in human form.
He was one of the smartest, realistic, humorous people I've ever met.
He will be missed.
He was very sick.  Cancer had ravaged his body over this last the point of extreme suffering. I know that in some way, his peaceful return to Jesus had to be a relief.
That doesn't make losing him any easier.
When they left the cemetery, I wondered how they would fare upon returning to their childhood home...much changed since they left there that morning. 
Our church has a way of swooping in to save people...and the older ladies are professionals at this.  I imagine their house was clean and spotless as well as full of food for later.  The entire family would be fed a huge spread at our church after the services were over.  
I thought many times about my friend's mother.
They were one of those older couples who have been married for 56 years. 
He was her best friend.
When everyone else is gone, there will be much adjustment for Mrs. Lou Ann.
I've thought of her many times today.

I stood in the cemetery yesterday looking at headstones and watching the scene unfold.
It's a scene I've certainly been privy to before and the older I get, I'm sure will see more and more often.
But, I really drank it in yesterday.
I'm still processing it.

5:23 p.m. 


  1. First off, I'm sorry about your friend's loss. Losing my mother shortly after losing my father and then losing my FIL in between the two, really did a number on me.

    13 Reasons Why is a book I handed to my daughter a few months ago when she complained endlessly that reading was boring. She hasn't been doing too well with reading comprehension so I decided to give her books that would shock her into thinking and 13 is that book. She is watching the series now. We've had good conversations about it but yes, a lot of people take issue with the book but I've never been one to censor reading unless it was pure trash.

    1. I'm with you, Ti. My parents never censored my reading, and I've never censored my older daughters' reading. I'm 4 episodes into the series, and the producers definitely have taken some liberties with the story, but that's to be expected. We've been having good conversations at our house as well, and that's definitely a plus. I've noticed a lot of "bandwagon censors" on social media lately...last night I started to comment on one...simply ask her if she had read the book or actually watched the series herself, but I deleted my comment. I don't need that drama.