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Author Topic: He died.
aretee
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[Frown]

Yesterday, our head principal made two announcements about an accident that happened in the gym and I couldn't understand why they would continue to disrupt class to talk about an accident in the gym.

Apparently, during basketball practice (athletics in our school are classes the team members take as part of their curriculum) a kid collapsed. The coach called the nurse, another coach, and the physical trainer. He was gasping for breath and when he stopped they began CPR until the EMTs arrived. He died a little later in the hospital.

I didn't know Chuck and I don't know how to feel. But, he was a good kid and quite popular. I feel terrible for my poor students who have no idea how to take this. And, since I didn't know him, there is very little I can say to help ease my students' pain.

There is no one to blame. He wasn't doing anything stupid or wrong. He just died. There is no explanation. I feel most for his poor mother. I can not imagine what it would be like to lose a child before the prime of his life.

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mackillian
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[Frown]
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Ela
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Wow, aretee, what an awful thing to have happened. Your post brought tears to my eyes and really left me at a loss for words. [Frown]
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MEC
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in my senior year in high school a freshman girl was crushed by a falling tree branch during high winds. She died a few days later.
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ClaudiaTherese
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Oh, aretee, I'm sorry. [Frown]

I wonder if he had an undiagnosed heart problem?

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Ela
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That was my first thought, too, CT. [Frown]
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Elizabeth
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Oh, I am so sorry.

Let the kids talk, talk, talk.

When a boy was paralyzed in a car accident a few years ago, I remember the kids saying how angry they were that their teachers just kept on teaching as if nothing had happened.

The most beautiful thing I ever heard, after September 11th, was a story from a local elementary school. The principal gathered all the kids in the gym, and the teachers made a circle around them, holding hands. The principal said something like, "We are here, and you are safe."

When one of our teachers was killed on his bike on the way to school(and witnessed by two buses full of kids), all the local schools sent their counselors over to talk with kids and adults.

I am so sorry.

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beatnix19
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Unexpected things like that are really difficult. We had a guy who was messing around with a gun at home and accidentily shot himself in the head. I remeber that being a pretty awful experience and I really didn't even know they guy.

I can only say I'm sorry and time, understanding and compasion will heal most of the wounds.

Our school planted a tree for the young man and put a plague in fornt of it as a memorial. that may be something the school could look to do for him and his friends and family.

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MyrddinFyre
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A guy in my major died the same way last year, just collapsed. His class was working on planting a greenhouse garden at the time, so they all redoubled their efforts and dedicated it to him... It is beautiful [Smile]
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aretee
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We have a slew of counsolers. Some classes are more affected than others. We have a really diverse student population and some groups of kids are just unaffected.

1st period was hard. One basketball player didn't even come to school. Another boy just sat and cried all period. I did continue teaching, we were instructed to. My voice was soft. I didn't get on anyone for not paying attention and I walked around and patted the crying kid on a regular basis as well as hand him kleenex for his nose. That time seemed to go okay. It's when I ended early and there was just dead silence inturrupted only by Justin's sobs. That was the hard part. No one wanted to talk about it. No one thought less of Justin for crying, which is very good. So, I turn on CNN. That lightened the mood.

Second period is unaffected. They didn't know him.

I know my 4th and 5th periods will be affected. I will just play it by ear. We were told to continue instruction as some kids want and need the structure to take their minds off of it. I did continue teaching, but I did not ignore the grieving students. When they wanted to excuse themselves, they did. I did what I could.

I am just at a loss. Thank you for your kind words. Please send good vibes and/or prayers to the McAfee family, as they will need it.

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Eruve Nandiriel
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[Frown]

Reminds me of something that happened at a local school recently. A girl was waiting to be picked up from school, and had a seizure. She fell into the road and her mother accidentally hit her. [Frown]

[ April 23, 2004, 10:59 AM: Message edited by: Eruve Nandiriel ]

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aretee
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Oh, my! Did she die? [Eek!]
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Eruve Nandiriel
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yes [Frown]
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MyrddinFyre
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[Frown]
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The Pixiest
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I watched someone die at a high school football game my senior year.

One second he was milling around between plays and the next second he collapsed.

The trainers when out to look at him and the next thing we know the whole team is down on their knees praying. Then the OTHER team ran over to our sidelines and started praying with our team.

But the part that gives me chills to this day was the gasping moan that went up from the 3000 or so people watching the game when the doctors pulled out the cardiac needle. Even from 50 yards away those things are huge and everyone knows what they're for.

After about 20 minutes, they pulled the ambulance out on the field and carted him away. I went to bed that night thinking someone I'd known since kindergarten was dead at the age of 17.

However, this story has a happy ending. I found out later that he was revived in the ambulance and in fact made a full recovery with no brain damage. His condition was treated, and he even went on to play football again in college.

Pix

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PSI Teleport
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When I was in eighth grade, I rode a bus to school that stopped to drop off the older kids at their high school before taking us on to middle school. One morning, while parked at the bus ramp of Jenkins High School, a saw a boy shoot another boy on the ramp and then gun whip him, even though he was already dead (I think).

I heard that they had a ton of therapeutic activities for the kids at Jenkins to help them deal with the loss of this kid, who apparently was very popular because he was very kind.

Unfortunately, they never considered the middle schoolers who witnessed it.

[ April 23, 2004, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: PSI Teleport ]

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Megachirops
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[Frown]
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Altáriël of Dorthonion
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Elizabeth, when I was in 7th grade, I'm a junior now, something very similar happened to a teacher I knew.
His name was Mr. Pangle. he was killed while riding his bike, I don't know whether it was to his place or to school, but it was in front of a Wal*Mart.
The next monday after that our school councelors talked us about it. I was complety shocked at the news. How in the world could Mr. Pangle die?
He had two daughters and a wife who had had her leg amputated when she was still a young girl. I wonder how they're doing right now.

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Elizabeth
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Aretree,

It is a really hard decidion to make, whether to talk or not. You are right, some kids need the structure to continue, especially younger kids. it sounds like you used a perfect combination, to me.

The high school kids I had spoken to said that their teachers gave nothing at all, and were just business as usual. It did not fly with them.

The hardest thing about finding out our coworker had died was trying to keep going ourselves.

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Anna
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(((Aretee)))
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Telperion the Silver
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creepy... [Cry]
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pooka
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In junior high one of my classmates died under mysterious circumstances. He had choked himself to death. At the time we all thought it was suicide. As we got older and realized there are people who do that for fun, some of my friends were angry that the teachers and counselors had implied it was suicide. Looking back, I guess they did tell us very clearly never to choke ourselves, and that he must have overheard somewhere that it would be interesting. I think it was just the natural tendency at that age to say "oh, they just don't want to judge him with having been suicidal." Odd situation.

In college I had a professor that committed suicide. He was an atheist stoic. The professor who team taught gave an interesting eulogy for him. I had another professor who was hit by a truck while on sabbatical in Mexico.

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CaySedai
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aretee,
it sounds like you are doing exactly the best you can do in this difficult situation.

Yesterday, a neighbor (1 block north of us) killed himself. He was 32. The rumor is that his wife was leaving him. They have 5 kids, who play with my kids.

So, now I've got to deal with my kids. Amanda, 10, doesn't seem to be bothered. Cayla, 8, is very sensitive and is very upset by this. What makes it really hit home is that Kent (husband) and I are seriously discussing (again) divorce. I think that Cayla is afraid that Kent will do this. I think he's too bloody-minded to do that, but I can't tell her that. [Angst]

So, I had a deep discussion with Cayla this morning. I wasn't even home last night when they found out about this - I was at work dealing with the aftermath of a major server crash. (not doing the server stuff - redoing the stuff I had done that was lost when the crash occurred. GRRR [Wall Bash] )

Anyway, aretee, good luck with your day. I don't know what you teach, but it sounds like you are a good teacher - the kind that is there for the kids beyond the scope of your particular subject.

Carol

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PSI Teleport
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pooka, how did he choke himself? Like, just with his hands?
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ClaudiaTherese
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Carol, I hope your situation becomes more stable for you soon. I can't imagine how difficult this is for you right now, especially with a sensitive daughter who is dealing with such an issue in the community. [Frown]

(BTW, welcome to Hatrack! [Smile] I hope you stay.)

PSI, some people attempt to enhance orgasms (usually during masturbation) by rigging up something to choke themselves, often with a sort of kill-switch to relieve pressure if they pass out. It's quite dangerous, and ERs are very familiar with the deaths that may result. A google search on "choke" + "auto-eroticism" would likely give you more answers, but I'd hate to promote the practice by giving more details here.

I love you guys too much for that. I would rather y'all enjoy it through a long and happy life. [Smile]

[ April 23, 2004, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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Farmgirl
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Yea, CT -- as a former EMT on an ambulance, I'm also very familiar with that particular thing (when they asphixiate themselves to death trying to get that optimal feeling). I was absolutely shocked the first time I encountered it. Someone (a guy) had to explain it to me.

Farmgirl

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ClaudiaTherese
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I have no censure for people seeking to enhance pleasure. I am, however, big on pursuing pleasure in full recognizance of the benefits and risks involved -- good choices (like good ethics [Smile] ) come first from good information.

And, I have to admit, our young Hatrackers are pretty precious to me.

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PSI Teleport
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CT, I knew about the choking + orgasm thing, I just thought you needed a partner to help you. I didn't know that's what pooka was refering to; I didn't think about sex.
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ClaudiaTherese
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People tend to be pretty ingenious when it come to pursuing pleasure. Nothing wrong with that. I just don't like the "associated with death" part.

My mother used to raise us with forewarnings of our obituaries. "Do you really want your obituary to say that you were silly enough to go without a hat in winter, and so caught pneumonia?" "Do you want your obituary to say you were too dumb to look both ways before crossing the street?"

*grin

I hate to think what she'd say about this one.

Seriously, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with pleasure. Just don't take risks that you aren't fully aware of, okay? (That goes for the morbid adolescents among you in particular. [No No] We will make serious fun of you here at Hatrack if you die getting off.)

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katharina
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In Clyde Something's Final Repose, an X-Files episode, there was a man who could look at a person and see how they would die.

Mulder got curious and asked about him. "Autoerotic asphyxiation." was the answer.

Scully asked about her. Clyde looked her, smiled, and said, "You don't."

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PSI Teleport
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See, kat, you would assume that Mulder would be able to avoid his death if he knew that in advance. But he's just freaky enough to go ahead and do it anyway.
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mackillian
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I love that episode.
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rivka
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[Frown]

How awful. It sounds like you are helping your students in the only way you can. (((((aretee)))))

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Eaquae Legit
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(((aretree)))

(((McAfee family)))

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aretee
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Wow, I have never seen my students better behaved.

As I suspected, 4th and 5th periods were the most affected. Many students were gone; they were congregating in the cafeteria where the counsolers were. But the ones who showed up were great. I began the period by expressing my sorrow and sympathy to them. I told them that I knew today was a difficult day but we just have a little bit of work to do. (Our state standards test is coming up next week and we are reviewing for that.) And, if they are quiet they could have the rest of the period to chill and sign yearbooks and so forth.

They were beautiful. One girl (who gives me trouble on a regular basis) looked at me and said, "Thanks. Give me a hug!" I was touched. So, I gave them all candy and let some play on the computer. It was almost like a bonding experience. That is my most difficult class, the one that makes me dread coming to school. I have never seen them better. They listened during the lesson and then talked quietly after.

One student asked if I could make copies of a poem he had written. This is my BD kid who has some other learning disabilities:
quote:
There's No Goodbye
Just because you left this earth, doesn't mean that you
are gone

forever. We know you went to a better place and that is
heaven.

Well I guess it was your day and we know it was the happiest day

of your life, because we know you are singing with the
angels in

heaven. You were a pretty strong guy, you never gave up a
fight you

kept on fighting till the end. What can I say there's no
goodbyes.
--Mario Payton
April 23, 2004

So, I wiped away my tear, and made 30 copies. While I was making the copies a secretary came in with the same poem and made 100 copies.

I am proud of their strength. I'm proud of Mario's ability to express himself in words.

I'm also glad I was able to see this side of them. I was almost to the end of my rope and now my hope is renewed in them and in my role as a teacher.

I am sad that it took this tragedy for this transformation to occur in my mind and heart. But, I am glad that something good has come from it.

Edit: Stupid typos

[ April 23, 2004, 04:07 PM: Message edited by: aretee ]

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katharina
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[Group Hug]
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