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Saturday, March 10, 2012

SUSTAINing each other

Our colleague and friend (and vilified teacher of Physics) had a terrible life threatening health crisis on Thursday. It was horrific and wonderful all in the same moment. It looks like he will be fine, but is in the ICU about an hour away.

This crisis revealed to us how we are with each other. We are a community who care for each other, not only the faculty, but the students too. From the time we found out at noon until 7pm or so we all felt the weight of the possibilities. We spent our regular class time together from 4 to 6. It went kind of like this: Linda told the students about his crisis and showed her emotion in the process. The students decided to get material for a card to make for him, then Gustavo (a latino from Salinas who is the smartest student in Physics) was asked by the other students to work out problems on the board. I sat in the room with them as Linda taught her Physics class down the hall. To see the students doing physics as he would have like them to do was heartbreaking. To see Gustavo ask the students "well, what are all the equations we know that use momentum?" was heartbreaking. To see the students walk in with a large piece of (recycled, I hope) paper and pens for a card, was heart-breaking. To have Melissa volunteer to go to Santa Barbara this weekend so she could deliver the card, was heartbreaking.

Our hearts can't really hold this kind of love. I want to cry knowing that something different has emerged with SUSTAIN. Something heartbreaking.

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