Friday, July 17, 2009


Last year, one of my favorite students lost her mind.

I had the ideal student: not brilliant, not a straight-A student, but very interested, someone who would ask the questions everybody else was wondering. A young woman like Amanda makes teaching easy; she illuminated for me what is unclear to the hoi polloi.

Therefore, I was a very saddened when, one Monday, her roommate (also a student) told me that Amanda was completely dropping out of school "to become an artist." I was surprised to hear this because Amanda was a Business major, and had not, to my knowledge, ever exhibited any tendencies toward making or appreciating art.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I came to my office the next day to find ten copies of a very long letter underneath my door, with the words "please translate me into anything" written on the back:

The trees are really beautiful in this part of the world and dont you want to know how this love miricle is only being seen by you and me. Bet you did? Right. And I want everyone who loves the rainbow to come to my little party where I will sing a song of luff and tenderness and luff and miricles and we can find that it is all true you and me and the pumpkin. Want to get in a car and go for a drive? Bet you did and that car is full of other people who will help us. My Facebook friends number of 5millions and each one can tell me the time and the sorrow of their own cars with there squeeky wiperblades. If i had a dollar I would buy out all the Walmart stores and replace them with sanktuarys of tenderness and luf. You don't understand me robot what is wrong with you. Just because I can see *IT* and you cant doesn't mean we shouldn't call what is a scam a (&REAL(* scam. My name Amanda comes from a Chippewa word for princess of peace and that's where we will begin. I bet you a dollar I can make you cry before the day is over. I tricked you already crying.

It went on and on. That happened on a Tuesday. On Wednesday, I saw Amanda outside the Student Union singing a dirge-like song - wearing clown shoes and a pageant crown. On Thursday she was doing the same thing, only dressed in her pajamas. On Friday, I received an email from Student Services informing me that she had been placed in state care.