Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fare thee well

Today my HON 479 students had our group meeting over at the I Have a Dream Foundation's headquarters in Asheville, one end of a long brick building at the east end of Pisgah View Apartments. Kieran, the IHAD program's local coordinator, was effusive and outgoing as ever, quizzing the students on their long-term "dreams," discovering passions for dog training, foreign service, and trapeze artistry.

After a brief run-down on daily operations Kieran led the kids on a tour of the center while I hung back and chatted with Eugenia, Kieran's assistant director. I asked after a few of the students I'd remembered working with back in Fall 2012, and was pleased to find some of them doing well. Stephen, one of the most precocious readers of the bunch, is one of a handful now excepted from reading requirements owing to his accomplished skill. Elaine is as stylish as ever, always opting out of kickball for fear of messing up her outfits. And Ulysses is still Ulysses, still heavyweight rock-paper-scissors champion of the world.

I was chagrined to learn, though, that one of my favorite students, an athletic young man who had a legitimate curiosity about math and who often thought about math problems from completely outside of the box, has since fallen out of the program. After choosing to withdraw himself, he fell in with a questionable clique of friends and ran afoul of the law. An investigation into his home life eventually led him into foster care in a nearby town, too far away for IHAD to be able to transport him to and from the program should he wish to rejoin (and wish he does, apparently). They're working out the details now, but it looks as though his days at IHAD may be over.

This makes me sad.

1 comment:

Swales said...

I really liked working with IHAD back in Asheville, and I'm glad to hear the program is still going strong. I wonder what happened to some of the students I taught.

Very sorry to hear about this student not being able to return to the program. Hopefully, there's something like IHAD closer to where he lives now.