Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Terrible Days

When I arrived to work yesterday, I learned that two of my coworkers had been killed in a car accident on Monday night. It was on the front page of the Austin American Statesman today. One was the campus secretary who made the whole place run and who did so much to help me get settled in when I started there. The other was an English teacher, a favorite among the kids and a woman who made everyone feel welcome. There is so much pain in that building, such a palpable feeling of loss.

Both women were people who truly made the new guy (me) feel welcome. They helped me get settled into the routine there which is so different from a normal school. It’s hard to fathom how you can just say ‘see-ya tomorrow’ on the way out the door only to find that that’s it. It’s a terrible thing to lose one person in such a small tight knit faculty, but two at once is just… well, there aren’t words. Everyone is so rattled at work, just hanging on. I can’t imagine what the two families are going through.

Until yesterday I had been teaching mostly GED prep courses, but because my certification is in English, my GED classes were given to other teachers and I’ve taken over the English teacher’s classes. I had no idea what the kids would be like, but they all wanted to carry on what they were doing in her classes so I will now need to read and get caught up on My Side of the Mountain, The Count of Monte Cristo, and To Kill a Mockingbird. I just told them I couldn’t be who she was and that I wouldn’t try, but that we’d muddle through together. Then I taught them a bit of poetry writing. Most of them liked that and things went as well as could be expected.


  1. I’m sorry….

  2. Ugh. I’m so sorry. Best wishes to you, your colleagues, and your students.

  3. I’m sorry, that’s horrible Cayote…I hope tomorrow’s a better day!

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