Thursday, March 24, 2011

Something is Still Missing

Day 10:  finished.  Fifty days left. 
Today was a roller coaster.  The good news? There were stretches of several minutes at a time when I didn't think of CB at all. And times when I thought of him with terrible anger.  It's like that passage from Harry Potter 7, when Ron opens the horcrux and Harry and Hermione emerge.  He says that Hermione, "was more terrible and more beautiful than the real Hermione".  I have transformed CB into a cruel, mocking entity who never gave a shit about me.  At other times I thought of him and took Luz's advice, "Give him love, give him light, let him go."  But most of the time, I continue to think of him with intense longing. Today was hard that way.  This time of night, when everyone has gone home from school and only the night janitors are here, CB often contacted me via IM:
"Hello, Darling!  Are you packing up and getting ready to leave?  Remember, you need 7 hours of sleep for a healthy immune system."
"Yeah, I'll be ready to go in a bit.  I just have a couple more things I want to do..."
"I'm starting to feel all protective about you."
He was of the opinion that I didn't sleep enough and made it his personal mission to IM or text me many nights each week with reminders to go to bed.  So I miss him in the late evenings.  
I also miss him because tomorrow night is my poker party:  the first attempt at my "Eleanor" concept.  He liked this idea when I originally described it to him.  I think he knows how to play poker; but anything that was social and would bring more friends into his world appealed to him.  I think he would have enjoyed channeling his inner Eleanor.  And he was a very adventuresome person who would have added a lot of new ideas to the group.

Stillwater Canyon, Green River

And I'm starting to read up on the Stillwater Canyon trip that I want to do at the end of the summer.  I hope like hell that, by the time this trip comes off, I am over him.  I have imagined him being with me on this trip so many times.  It's hard to remove him from the picture, a la Trotsky, and repopulate it with other friends. 

Finally, he loved hearing about little triumphs at work.  He liked my Guadalupe stories.  Here's the latest.

Every spring, we have a fund-raising luncheon for the school. My job is to provide a speaker from among the adult education students.  This is not easy.  My students are mostly lower level English as a Second Language students.  I have to find someone who is able (and wants to) write, revise and practice a five minute speech,then give the speech to 400 potential donors at the luncheon.  I sweat about this every year.  Way back in mid-February, we asked a student if she would tell her story and she agreed to do it.  Unfortunately, she got cold feet and backed out, with only 2 weeks to go.  I was a little freaked out (although the up-side of my current difficulties? Most other things seem small and don't rattle me.), but another student, Laura G., agreed to do it in spite of the short time-frame. Reading her rough draft tonight was one of my better moments as an adult educator.  The speech below has had some grammar corrections and a few wording changes to help it flow.  But 99% is just as she wrote it, including the transitions, introduction and conclusion.  For a student at our school, this speech is a remarkable piece of work.  I'm looking forward to the luncheon, now, because Laura G. is going to BLOW THE AUDIENCE AWAY.

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.  My name is Laura Guerrero.  I have been a student in the Adult Education program of Guadalupe School since 2007.  I want to tell you a little bit about me and my family.
We came from Mexico about 14 years ago.  The reason we came here is that my daughter Alin is disabled.  She was born with Cerebral Palsy.  She was a patient at Shriner’s Hospital.  The doctors from Shriner’s Hospital used to go to Ciudad Juarez in Mexico every six months to check on children with different disabilities.  This was a free service that they offered.  Whenever a child needed equipment, they provided it.  They helped pay expenses when families needed to travel to Utah for a child’s surgery.  And they support the family while the child is recovering.  My daughter went to many appointments with these doctors.  The first time she needed surgery on her legs, she couldn’t come to Utah, and she had the surgery in Mexico.
Some years later, my husband came to Utah for a few months.  He called me and asked if I would like to come to Utah.  He told me it is a very quiet and  pretty place.  My daughter Alin needed another surgery.  After talking about it, we decided to come.
It was good to be close to Shriner’s Hospital.  My daughter had the opportunity to get therapy every month.  She was able to have a second surgery when she needed it.  She was a patient at Shriner's until she was 18.  She didn’t want to go back to Mexico.  She loved this country right away.  She loves school. She loves to go out, especially to restaurants.
Shriner’s Hospital is an organization that is supported by many donors.  We have another great organization that needs help from donors:  Guadalupe School.  This school couldn’t exist without the generosity of many people from the community. 
The Adult Education program at Guadalupe offers English for adults in a way that makes them feel comfortable.  When I started in this school, I got the feeling that the students are so important to the teachers and staff.  They want to make sure that the students get the best possible education from their classes.  Being in this program has helped me in my life.  It has helped me to understand my children and my children’s teachers.  I never have to ask myself, “What are my children talking about?” I can get involved in their activities.  Now I’m not afraid to go anywhere, because I understand the language.  I don’t have to ask for an interpreter in clinics or hospitals.
To learn English wasn’t easy for me.  It has taken a long time for me to learn, to understand it and to communicate.  I still have difficulties with conversation.  I have been in many English programs before, but I was always confused because there was one teacher with about 20 students.  The teacher couldn’t give the students much attention.  But since I started at Guadalupe School, all my confusion is gone because this is a very good program.  The Adult Education program is made up of a director, teachers, volunteers and students.  There are many small student groups with 3 or 4 students and each teacher is in charge of some of these small groups.  The volunteers teach the students.  Being in a small group means that we can ask our questions and understand the lesson.  There is time for all of us.  It helps us to learn fast, and we can also choose what we want to learn.  The teachers want us to get ahead. 

Therefore, ladies and gentlemen, I ask you humbly to help Guadalupe School keep his great program in our community.  We need donations from people who love this King of Programs.  We need supporters who love our community and adult education.  Don’t be afraid to donate.  The program will spend your money wisely and the students will be very grateful and dedicated to their studies. 
Thank you, from the adult students at Guadalupe School. 


  1. Keep going Katie - with your eye on the finishing line.

  2. I almost started bawling when I read that speech...

    And I think it is a really good sign that you are thinking about activities for yourself. You are much stronger than you give yourself credit for..(and now it is bugging me that I ended a sentence with a I have to fix that.)

  3. She's good, huh, Maria? People donate more when they are bawling. :)