Thoughts on the Boston Marathon explosions


I live in Melbourne, Australia and am almost as far away from Boston as the world will allow. In some ways though I feel incredibly close.

I woke up on Tuesday morning to breaking news of the event. As it happened Tuesday was the first day of classes for Term 2, so my mind was very much elsewhere while the radio was on.

Then there was the ESPN sports podcast I usually listen to while I potter about the house cleaning up. Their heart wasn’t in discussion of the up coming NBA playoffs and they chose instead to debrief on the tragedy of the event with accounts from associated journalists.

Then a friend of mine shared a Boston Globe piece on facebook. It has a message from Bill Richard stating how the explosion killed his son and injured his wife and daughter. In it he thanks people for their prayers and asks for people to respect their need to recover and grieve with some privacy. The post has a beautiful picture of his son.

Yes. In some ways I feel incredibly close.

This blog was always intended to discuss education and what I’ve learned from being in the business. So, to that end, I suppose It’s appropriate to mention that schools are intimate communities. The people that work in them develop relationships both professional and personal with colleagues, students, and their families.

Teachers aren’t like police and fire fighters who deal with events on the front line. We aren’t doctors or nurses for whom life and death are daily events. What we are instead, are individuals who chose a career that fosters growth and passion for learning in the young and the young at heart. On occasion, the students I’ve taught and seen grow over the years have experienced the great loss of a loved one. On occasion the schools I’ve taught in have lost a student. The death of someone we’ve taught hurts us in a way that feels less than the agony of those intimately involved but, I think, strong enough so that we always remember.

In truth though, I’m not writing as a teacher. I’m writing because I’ve seen a picture of a joyful young boy and it resonates with me intensely. I’m writing because I am so enormously impressed by the strength of his father in writing such a short message so full of sincerity and courage.

They have my prayers. God bless them all. 

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