Okay, today was a bad day, made worse by the fact that there was no exact reason for it to be bad. My advisor told me she liked what she was reading and made some preliminary suggestions that included small things like "you have to use the date as well as the volume and issue when you cite articles." No, "elle, this is the worst thing ever!" I found out that I could bring some of the government docs from my university home, saving time and money. My car interior finally dried out from its shampooing and it was well worth the money.
And on and on.
And still, I felt out of sorts.
Then one of my students, a fresh-faced boy with a nice smile, came to my office after class to tell me he might miss an upcoming quiz. I had my generic look of disbelief pasted on and then he said:
"Because I got called back to active duty and I have a screening that day."
My jaw dropped. "Oh no," I said. "If you've been once-"
"That's the way it works ma'am," he told me.
At which point, my eyes filled and I shook my head. "But it's not fair," I said.
Of course, he tried to comfort me. "It's okay." he said. Then he smiled and tried to make a joke: "I'm going to try to get out of it."
When I didn't visibly "cheer up," he added, "And if have to go, it won't be until the fall, so I can finish the class."
That damned class was the last thing on my mind but I told him, quite feebly, "You'll be excused from whatever."
I know some people will be horrified, but I don't care that that kid saw me get emotional for a minute. All I could think was, My God, what if he doesn't come back?