Dear Terrence,

You missed class today, and while I want to say, “It was something within my control,” while I want to insist that I could have ensured your attendance, I’m not sure it would have meant your mental presence. You’re so often mentally gone that I know that had I told the other teacher, “No, you cannot borrow Terrence; he needs to be in class,” you likely wouldn’t have been in class in the truest sense.

When Miss T asked if you could miss my class to go out and help while the university students were helping with our little school’s new organic garden, I really didn’t hesitate, though. I know how you love working with your hands, how you love activities that let you make the most of your strength, activities you’re good at. And that might be why you’re so belligerent in class sometimes: you haven’t met with a lot of academic success, and it certainly doesn’t feel good to have the sinking suspicion that you’re just going to fail at this like you’ve failed at everything else. (I’m not suggesting you’ve failed; I’m suggesting this might be your thought process.)

I guess academics aren’t everything. I hope it gave you a feeling of success.

Your Teacher in Room 302


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