The Sky has Fallen. Long Live the Sky.

Recently, the faculty at the massage school received an email.  The text of the email, in its entirety, read: “(Beloved Education Director) is no longer with (school.) if you have any questions, please see me and I will do my best to answer them.”

Well, yes. I do have questions.  When the woman who basically built this school is no longer here, with no warning and no goodbye — I have questions.  What do I tell the students?  This woman supported, pushed and believed in every one of them.  One evening in my class, I watched her sit with one of my students and lay into the student about her shaky academic standing.  All with love.  Love of the profession, of learning and educating, and of the students.

The night of the announcement, I taught a class, and I told my students.  I told them that I was sorry I didn’t know more, but out of respect for her, they should not speculate.  After class, I met a colleague outside the faculty lounge, and held her while she cried her contact lenses out.  Our mentor was gone. The sky had fallen.

Since then, we have been going on with what we do, trying to support the students with the same dedication and passion she had.  Some of us are focusing on those things we can control.  Some of us are spiraling down into rumors and negativity.  Last night, I saw a colleague who had been out moving house when this all went down.  “Well,” she said, “we just gotta keep on keepin’ on, right?”

Ah. Yes.  She’s right.  I looked up last night, and the sky had not fallen.  It was gradually darkening gray criss-crossed with streaks of pink clouds.  We thought the sky had fallen because we were bent down with our frustration and grief.  We are still apprehensive about what comes next, and we are now saying goodbye to more people who see this as a sign to leave.  But our students come to class, and we have information for them.  We keep on keepin’ on.

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