Facing Adversity

Posted: January 11, 2010 in Uncategorized

Everyone faces adversity. For some, the unrelenting grip of poverty makes many goals seem unachievable. For others, stress caused by parental neglect, physical abuse, physical illness, substance dependency, losing a loved one, etc., plague their everyday lives. Here are some particular adversities faced by my former students:

1. A student reveals in an essay that her father was shot and murdered when she was four years old. At the time, her mother was pregnant with her brother, so he never got to meet his father. She said her mother did not emotionally recover, and that her mother cried constantly. I then realized why this student did not have the skills necessary for college; she hadn’t been raised properly.

2. A student reveals in his essay that as a young child, he got a hold of his father’s gun and shot the television. In my opinion, this suggests irresponsible parenting.

3. While reading an article about drunk driving, a student shares the fact that his brother and grandparents were killed by a drunk driver.

4. While discussing the Stop Snitchin’ DVD that circulated Baltimore a few years ago, a student reveals that his aunt has been missing for months, and nobody is coming forward with any information. He then later informs me that her body was found in the woods very close to his house. She was shot and murdered. He said that his household was very chaotic because his aunt’s children were now living with his family.

5. I had several deaf students sign up for a writing class I was teaching. They needed a note-taker and an interpreter in order to follow what was going on. Because many spoken words do not exist in sign language, writing a grammatically correct sentence was very difficult for them. They were extremely frustrated because they were trying so hard, but they never gave up and attended almost every class.

Although many of my students face many adversities, I give them all credit for persevering and attempting to better themselves by enrolling in college.

Care to share your story?

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