My intention when making the entry for this post a couple weeks ago is that I'd recount all the great things I learned in the morning sessions and various breakouts I went to during my time at TMC16.
Really, TMC16 had one focus. It's not something I advertised and not something I was going to advertise. It all happened too soon and I was still dealing with it personally, and not prepared to talk about it.
On July 12th, a Calculus student of mine I taught for two years and who had just graduated was admitted to the hospital. The outlook was bad. Within a few minutes of leaving the plane on July 13th in Minneapolis I find out he died. His particular case was a million to one freak occurrence, just absolutely unfair. I briefly considered the emergency flight home, but sitting at home alone was not how I wanted to deal with this, as much as it pained me not to be there.
Seeing old and new faces at TMC helped me work through grieving. To be reminded that there are such positive people out there working in teaching is the renewal I get every year at TMC, to be reminded of why I work so hard for students like him.
His funeral was on Saturday the 16th at 1 pm. Part of the reason I stayed was because I was slotted for a My Favorite at the exact same time. The topic was Varsity Math, an initiative that brings me and the kids so much joy. If you were there, he was in some of the photos you saw. It felt right to include him. Here's his class photo, no red boxes this time. I'm not going to point him out, but here's there, happy as could be.
He is one of the happiest kids I ever taught. The kids he sat with loved him.
Thank you to everyone I interacted with at TMC this year. You made more of an impact than you know. It's the community, stupid.