Friday, October 19, 2012

German class

I was teaching basic German to students at San Francisco State University when I found out that my father had suddenly died.  The dreaded phone call came on a Saturday.  My class instruction was Tuesday/Thursday.  On Tuesday, I went to school.

I remember standing in front of the students and feeling out-of-sorts.  They were waiting for class to begin and I was waiting to compose myself before starting class.  I didn't know exactly what to say, but I felt I had to be honest.

Without too much preface, I told them that my father had died last week and that if I were a bit 'spaced out' during class today, then that would be the reason why and I, sort of, gave my apologies in advance for any possible upset during instruction.  Perhaps I had given them too much information (TMI!), but I felt I owed them a explanation for any strange behavior I may have then exhibited in class.

Actually, it would seem that through my sharing of what had occurred, I was temporarily released from the upset and could just get on with teaching.  Tuesdays and Thursdays became my 'grief free' days weekly.  I finished out the semester of teaching German 101 before dropping out of grad school.

Class was finished, my studies were over, and Dad was gone.

Douglas Allan Batz 7 Jan. 1940-19 Oct. 2002


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