Yesterday I got another letter from a graduated sunshine. He's spending some time in the neighboring county's hotel, and got my address from another sunshine who is in with him. (They were both involved in the same foolish act, and this mini vacation helps them realize that there are consequences to our actions.) Anyhow, Sunshine 1 doesn't visit me as much as Sunshine 2, so I was surprised to get a letter from him. It was pretty short-- I'm in here, just wanted to say hi, I'll come visit when I'm out, and oh yea, I know I messed up to get here in the first place. But he wrote it.
I know that I am not pushing the envelope academically. If the second teaching position survives the budget process, that will change some; but I don't think academics will ever be my overall focus. I want them to know there's someone out here who wants to hear from them, even if they're writing from the county hotel. I choose to spend huge chunks of our day talking about unintended consequences and how the choices they make directly determine what comes next. When we're talking about reputations and choices, we're not talking about how to figure out the area of a circle, and I'm ok with that. If you can get yourself to the point where you can hold down a job, and if keeping that job requires your use of pi, then you'll figure it. But if you can't hold down a job, how much does it matter?
I'll admit, we're not doing so hot on the job front. I want to put more of a focus on volunteering, which will get them some work experience to build on. But that first goal-- that there's someone out here who wants to know what you're doing, whatever you're doing, because I care about you-- well, we've accomplished that one, big time.