Thursday, February 11, 2016

Student Forebodings

I've been teaching college for more than ten years now, so I've had a wide array of students. But I have to wonder if other teachers have had students predict doom for their children.
That's just strange.
Four years ago, I wrote about a student who emailed me to tell me that he'd had a dream that one of my sons was "harmed" and I received a $300  million payout from the company responsible. Of course,this threw me into a tizzy. I assumed the dream must have meant that one of my sons was
killed, otherwise I wouldn't be receiving a payment from the company that "harmed"  him.
Imagine how surprised I was when a student approached me this week with a similar message. "I don't know you well personally, but is everything okay?" she asked me.
I thought she referred to my attitude in class that night, so I told her that I got peeved at the class before she arrived late.
"But is everything okay with your son?" she asked.
"Do you know my sons?" I asked.
"No, but I get hunches about things and I wanted to know if everything was okay with your son."
Then she left.
And there I sat. remembering when Muhanned had written to me about his dream. His at least had some details, none that I could act upon. Hers was incredibly vague.
I texted both boys and they responded to me.
Now I'm just paranoid about everything. Something could happen to my sons. They could walk out of the house and get hit by a car. They could get sick. Do I need to increase the amount I worry about my children, is that what the message means?
Like last time, I'm going to assume that there's nothing I can do to make sure they stay out of harm's way. They're adults who drive cars and go out with friends. I can't lock them in my basement to try to keep them safe.
All I can do is make sure my relationship with them is good, that they know they are loved, and hope for the best.
But there is something I would like to say to those soothsayers who contact me about a foreboding feeling. THAT'S NOT HELPING!
Unless you have details, like, "Don't let your son drive on Broad Street on February 13," or "Your son should have his thyroid checked for cancer," then your prediction does nothing but make me paranoid.
Should I take the boys for total body scans and then lock them up for safety?
Life is to be lived, and if I'd locked them up four years ago after the first dream, then they'd have missed out on a lot.
So I'll continue encouraging them to explore the world and how they can make it better.
And the next student who has a strange feeling or dream, better come with some details.


Just Me said...

Oh my goodness. I think I would feel the way you are feeling. That's not helpful, hits the nail on the head. How does that happen to the same person twice! You teach students from all cultures, some of which this is normal every day stud ??? Ask the next one if there is something you can or should do. Yikes.

Paulita said...

Yeah, what are the odds? One friend suggested that's what I get for appearing open-minded.

Just Me said...


grammajudyb said...

My first response is, "that's just mean". All any parent can do as their children grow up is let them know they are loved, and trust them to a higher power! I think it is one of the hardest things about parenting grown children. We want them to be independent and make their own way, but it is hard to let go.

Paulita said...

Judy, You're right, and the extra warnings are no help. Maybe if I were estranged from my kids then it would shock me into making up with them.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I think I'd have to say something to this student. Weird and unnerving. (This reminds me of a women who told me the day before I was having my gall bladder removed that she had the surgeon I was having for her gall bladder surgery and she "almost died"!! LOL (hey, thanks a lot lady)

Anonymous said...

That's really strange, and seems best to me to ignore these "warnings"! I wonder if this happens to others on the faculty. Have you asked around to see, just out of curiosity? I wonder if you're in these students' subconscious as a mother figure and their worries about themselves are getting transferred onto you! (How's that for some amateur psychologizing?) -- Laurie C

Paulita said...

Diane, People. That would be awful to here before your surgery.
Laurie, Who knows! Your amateur psychology might be on point.

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