Danger, Will Robinson

I’m getting ready to send students out. There they go, on the aeroplane, over the sea, into their new world. Oh, the anxiety. I worry mainly that they won’t prepare themselves so that in the event of an emergency they can remain calm. I’m reading over all the insurance policy details and realizing all the things I didn’t make clear to them prior. I’m realizing all the little silly things that insurance will do for us. I had a flashback of being in Central America, on that damn hot Toyota bus with the sun streaming in and the dust choking us out and the sweat enveloping us all like a pretty pretty mask, sitting in my seat in the back with my backpack shoved up around my feet and someone in close quarters to my left shoulder and directly in front. I’m sitting with the health insurance policy in my hands. My forehead scrunched up as I read in the heat and the dust and the eyes of the students on me. I was the insurance guru. It became a joke among the students before we did any little thing, “will insurance cover that?” It might have been Richard or Lily or Zach, I forget who exactly, who pointed out that the insurance would only cover the loss of one foot? or hand? one limb. That’s it. I don’t…I’d have to find the card to remember exactly. That was a good chuckle. But seriously, I was nervous when we went zip-lining. Will the insurance cover us? I was nervous on the boat, will the insurance cover this? I’m nervous as my students go out and get involved in their world and don’t think about the practicalities. Because they assume; because they’ve never had to; because the world can get quite dull with all those practicalities. The nonchalance with which people handle going out into the world sometimes gets to me. If I knew then what I know now, I wonder sometimes if I would have behaved any differently. If I behaved to my own standards in the time that I had. I can never really know. My viewpoint now is biased, colors what I know and how I thought and why I reacted. Improvise, adapt, overcome. That’s all I can do now. Re-evaluate and keep moving forward. But never forget.

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