When we moved Free Minds into this classroom in 2011, the space was brand-spanking new. We were the first to arrange the tables and settle in. For hundreds of nights I have sat on the back bench and taken attendance, leaned in to hear about every flat tire, every chest pang, every paper that suddenly found its way to life. For each student who’s come through, I have a story. But this year I am more visitor than resident. I still surge at the energy of all those voices gathered at the table. But I don’t know the little habits of the students — who always brings the styrofoam cup from Sonic, who sits alone during dinner. Who we might find in the computer lab before class. Whose purple sneakers, whose polka dot backpack.
February 9, 2015