The student I previously referred to has a very good reason as to why her parents had become incommunicado... The mother is in jail. Thankfully, I was following my second rule for today's teachers so I have nothing to feel guilty about. I wonder how many teachers in my past even gave it a second thought if one of us came to school tired and withdrawn or teary-eyed. We may not have endured quite as many instances of ill-fortune or been victims of poverty like these kids, but we all had our pain we bore to school each day.
I remember how embarrassed I was at the other Arabs in my classes who were from the same Arab country as I am from... What ignorant buffoons they often were... Not doing homework, failing tests, speaking with disrespect to their teachers. I had had enough when one of my "countrymen" was alseep as we read Julius Caesar in the 9th grade and I thought "typical, I bet he'll get a full scholarship to university and a kiss on the ass as he leaves for his business class flight". Turns out his mother and sister had just died in a car crash recently and he was unable to sleep at home for days since it happened. Actually, he was a lazy-ass student too, and he did get a full scholarship, and the metaphorical kiss on the ass, but it was a high price for him to pay in terms of karma. He was a fun guy. I can easily imagine him sniffing various illegal substances off the faultlessly perfect backsides of high class call girls. He was that kind of guy :) I hope he's behaving himself and enjoying less dangerous pleasure in life.