Everyone goes through periods in life where they feel like throwing in the towel. What’s the point? I’ve been feeling that way for a while, but in an effort to make up for the last post, I’m writing about something more positive this time. It never fails to surprise me when, just as I’m ready to give up on myself and people in general, something makes me stop. Perhaps another time I’ll explain how I’m possibly the most secretly optimistic pessimist you’ve ever known.

Yesterday, after I heard the mail truck drive off up the street, I put my book down and peeled myself off of the couch. I’ve been receiving mail every single day this week, and none of it was good. In fact, every single piece of it was bad news relating to money. No. I’m sorry. I got three pre-approved credit card applications.

So when I pulled the stack out of the mailbox, I said to the dogs, “What kind of bad news do we have today?” There was a stack of envelopes, two of them coming from the source of my livelihood at the moment. There were a few envelopes for my parents. And there on the bottom was a plain white envelope, addressed to me with no return address. I didn’t need a return address because I immediately recognized the tiny cramped handwriting as belonging to a student I taught during the 2006-07 school year in Virginia – my second year teaching.  Continue reading