Normalcy and retrospection

As I’ve mentioned in a few previous posts, I am still enrolled in classes at my local junior college.
When I told the professor why I had missed a week (he’s had me in his classes before and I never miss class) he suggested that maybe I should just drop out of school.
I told him that classes were the only bit of normal I had left, my only connection to being a “real” person.

I thought of that tonight. Both Tuesday evening and tonight I found myself escaping to the bathroom after class let out to get the tears that were welling up under control.
I love chemistry. I love learning.
I’ve also found a new appreciation for being free to *be* somewhere without being questioned. I can park in the school lot, show my school parking permit, and go into classes like a normal person.
Leaving class is returning to the uncertainy of my life. Where can I park for the night? Where can I get something to eat? Will I be able to study during the evening or do I have to keep all lights off to avoid drawing attention to myself?

For the time that I’m in class I forget that I have no rights (realistically). Leaving class brings it all back full-force.

Which is what I was thinking of this evening as I let Keegan out of the truck for a potty break and saw the campus police circle around me twice.
I remember reading an article some years ago about school age children who were homeless. About the efforts the school district made to be able to pick the kids up from points all across the city, because they and their families could never stay in the same place at night. How the district made an effort to feed the kids at least two meals during the day and allow them one class period during the day for scheduled homework and tutoring, because the kids weren’t going to be able to do homework sitting in a dark car hiding from police or predators, and because life in a shelter, if they were “fortunate” enough to have a bed in a shelter didn’t allow for homework either.
I remember the article saying that all of this effort was necessary, not just because the kids needed education to have a chance to get out of the situation they were in, maybe, one day, but because they needed some “normalcy” in their lives.

I wonder if it hit the kids when they left school in the afternoon as it does me? It is true that kids are more resilient, that they think whatever they grow up with is “normal”, that as long as they have a family structure supporting them emotionally they will fare better. But I can’t help but think that those kids felt like they got a punch in the gut every time they left school.

I wondered about it then, now I wonder even more.

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  1. Katy

     /  October 6, 2011

    The nerve of that professor.
    I just caught up on your blog. I really admire you, especially for continuing you classes.

    In Seattle, the city pools have a day-use fee (~$3) which includes access to the showers. Maybe there’s something similar there?

  2. Hey Katy,

    Aww.. he was just thinking like most people do. He’s actually a pretty good guy. : ]

    I did find out that there is one public pool that stays open all year, has hot water, and is free admission! I hear it’s pretty crowded since most of the homeless congregate there to shower but that it’s usually pretty clean.
    I haven’t been by there yet but will likely go by next week.
    But all the other pools here in town are closed now for the winter.


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