I’m taking a forced sabbath today. I got some kind of sick and spent most of the day on the couch or bed. Water and Nuun rehydration tablets have been my friends. This is really, really not ideal because I helped with an all-day field trip to Indy yesterday to see Good People (Which is excellent! Go see it!) at the IRT and eat really tremendous food on Mass Ave. It was great. I also have so, so much grading to do and planned to spend today hunched over essays. And the body said, nope.
Sometimes being sick makes one extremely introspective and grateful, like for being able to almost finish Anne Lamott’s Grace (Eventually) Thoughts On Faith before the influenza sent me to bed. Like holding down fizzy water for the last hour. Like managing a short walk in the snow to a friend’s house to watch the Sportsing Bowl, and especially like the snow day my university declared for tomorrow.
However, my heart goes out to the family and friends of Dallas Davis, a student at my university who died in a car accident this morning. Some of my colleagues had him in class, and said he was the kind of student who always saw “the good, the delightful” in other students’ writing and thought. I didn’t know him, but whenever these tragedies happen in our community, I wish I had. I probably could have learned something from him. Maybe it’s not too late. We are approaching the slog of the spring semester, where prepping for classes and grading essays feels like it requires superhuman energy, and here in February, I don’t have much of that at all. It’s not second nature, at this time of year, to remember to praise students for what they have done well. But it’s so essential because that’s how all of us get through in February. Tomorrow, whether I’m still lying on the couch trying to drink water or sitting up on the couch trying to grade, I’m going to try to think of my world the way Dallas would have.
Go with God, Dallas. May your kindness and delight linger with us.