I was working with one of my classes a few weeks ago when a student from another class came to see me. He had withdrawal papers with him. This is a student who had been frequently absent (or disengaged), but who I genuinely enjoyed. He was a senior---two months from graduation.
"What's the deal?" I asked.
"I'm quitting. I'm getting my GED and have already enlisted in the army. I show up for basic training mid-May and will be off to Iraq soon after."
"Kevin," I said, "You make me sad."
"I know," he replied. "I make me sad, too."
Don't come home in a box, kid. Sigh.
According to today's paper, he very nearly did. I've thought of him now and then since signing those papers. I always wondered if he was okay. I still hope he will be.