I found out, via hortonhearsawho, that a teacher at Roosevelt (the high school I graduated from last year) was killed yesterday morning in a car crash.
Her name was Leslie Leonard, although I suppose she'll always be "Miss Leonard" in most of our minds, and she was an English teacher. She was best known at the school for teaching a senior year only class that focused on creating and initiating community service projects.
I never had her, but it was impossible not to know who she was and not interact with her at least once. She really did treat every student as if they were really special and important, whether or not they were actually her student. She shared an office with my physics teacher, so my junior year I would see her all the time, as she was generally in and out of the room.
I don't know whether I should feel impacted or not. It's so sudden. Now I really feel blank. This really is a small town, and even though the high school wasn't small, there was a lot of effort to view it as a large (and sometimes dysfunctional) family. Certain faculty members were well known to everyone, whether or not you interacted with them in a formal classroom or office setting. Miss Leonard was one of them. And now she's not. And similar things happen every day to people who don't deserve it, people who cherish and make use of their lives and brighten the lives of others. And the crud of the earth goes on living. Why?
I think I'm going to go down to the school and see whether there are still people there. I feel like I have to do something now.