A former student stopped in today. He has been on and off the road for the last year, looking for something to sink his teeth into and work towards in life. He has been across the country in a Dodge van, meeting people and making music to pay for gas. He spent the last summer on the streets of SLC, doing the same things without having to pay for gas.
I saw him about four months ago, he was here in Ephraim at his parent's house. He was regrouping his thoughts and looking for another van to run into the ground. He seemed a bit scattered, he wanted to get the GED and finish high school, but he still lacked a purpose.
During his visit today, he told me about his new trade. He's been trained as a framer and is loving his work. He said he is sleeping soundly at night (something he always had trouble with), he has energy in the morning and plain loves to do his work. He talked about saving money, eventual marriage and children- all quantum leaps for a kid who only a year ago hated everything about the world and most of its population. Direction will do wonders for a person, especially one as good as he.
It seems that the acquisition of materials and possessions isn't enough for most people. Especially with people who start off with not very much, some people never get in the swing of life for acquisition. Some of the kids I work with do very much want a good life filled with good stuff, cars, houses and as they say, Bling!, but they have a hard time with the formulation of a strategy for getting all that stuff. They seem to think it will come to them freely, without effort.
These seem to be the two biggest problems I face in my classroom, those who don't know what they want because things don't matter and that's all the world seems to be about, and the kids who want it all but don't want to do much about it or don't know how to.
I'm sure glad that some find their way, though. It will make my heart feel less strained for a while.