The summer school team I’m working with thought it would be a grand idea for me to teach Night by Elie Wiesel. I had not read it, so I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. When I received the book, I realized it was not only a Holocaust book, but it was going to be a Holocaust book that was going to hurt. I assigned the class to read the first two chapters as I casually flipped through the pages thinking of what was “doable” over the weekend. Come Sunday night, I had yet to read the first word. Resistance.
There is something you need to understand about me. I hurt. I hurt deeply at others’ suffering. I wept so bitterly as a child the first time I saw a black man in a movie being whipped that I spent the rest of my life avoiding slavery images. My heart races when I flip through magazines in doctors’ offices and suddenly see battered war victims. My emotions for the domestic violence victims I assisted at an advocacy agency in college were so powerful my supervisor had to shelter me with office tasks and assign the direct advocacy to others. My avoidance issues don’t stem from lack of caring. They stem from caring too much. Of course as I write those words I realize how ridiculous they sound. No one can care too much.
So here I was, the teacher not doing her homework. I sighed and read the Forward. My head throbbed with the reality that I had to read this book. I didn’t want to read this book. I was the teacher. I would assign them something else. Anne of Green Gables. My kind of book. Resistance.
But as I read those powerful words of introduction, I knew I could only resist for so long. I had to read this book. This book was going to change my soul forever. So I’ve resolved to end the Resistance. But as I have yet to read Chapter 1, which is due…again…tomorrow, I suppose I will have to tackle procrastination next.