Busy weekend on the Internet - lots of student questions, problems, concerns. One of my college professors referred to her job as being "in loco parentis" which (I think) is Latin for "I'm away from my parents and you're a stand-in, so please help me by listening to what's going on and be a kind ear."
I keep a cheat sheet on this - OK, check with A to see how the broken leg is doing, has S's father gotten out of the hospital, don't mention boyfriends to N, did D lose his house, etc. I don't know if I help at all, but we all need a good vent now and then.
I'm struck by how quickly the "sandwich generation" has passed down the age line. I assumed that one started grappling with children and aging parents maybe in the late forties or fifties, but what with my aging students, the economy, and job loss, more and more of them are writing essays about American history as they try to feed children and not strangle the parent who is now living in their basement.
The Great Depression brought out the worst in many people, but the best in others. People learned frugality, mutual responsibility and not to be too proud. Can Americans do this again? Can we set aside our SUVs and plasma tvs to sav our credit card balances?