Arc-en-Ciel Water Lilly from Duke Gardens, where I often went when I skipped class

I am a freshman, really, in the school of loss.  I am green, naive, but confident in my ability to skip class, skimp on homework and still make a good grade. It’s always worked before. My high school classmates begrudged the way I routinely got lucky — tests miraculously postponed the days I failed to study; papers I slipped in late would still get an A. My recurrent nightmare involves walking into a final exam for a college class I’ve totally blown off all semester (after missing the drop/add deadline) and flailing. I wake gripped by panic and guilt.

The course of study I find myself in now (Intro to Debilitating Disease; Grief 101; Mortality for Dummies)  leaves no wiggle room. The faculty is demanding, the assignments unavoidable, the curriculum comprehensive and overwhelming. Even so, I get to walk away after class. I’m auditing, at best. I am not the one who must endure labs and practicals in losing the ability to speak, to chew, to walk.

So I defer to master teachers. Primary sources who articulate the reality of ALS, the raw despair of loss, with brutal honesty. Click on the link for today’s required reading: an essay published in the New York Review of Books by Tony Judt.   (thanks to Elizabeth, one of my study partners, for pointing me to it.)

~ Stephanie

~ by Stephanie on 01/29/2010.

One Response to “Articulating.Life.Sentence”

  1. I read “Night” last week and have not been the same since – never to slip into bed and feel the same. Ellen

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