The last episode of the first season of Sports Night is a doozy. Felicity Huffman’s character, Dana, is on the verge of mental collapse, and after being bested by a camera’s elaborate flash and automatic timer, she shrieks, “Now I want something good to happen! I want something good to happen before this day is over, and I’ll be the judge of what’s good!”
And as soon as she says it, her mentor, father figure, and biggest supporter walks in the room, his first appearance since having a stroke months earlier.
This week, I’ve screamed like Dana in my head several times. Something good. Happen now. And I was thinking it again today when he walked in to say hi.
Former students usually surface this time of year, but I really was not expecting any visitors. Last year’s graduating class and I did not mesh (as evidenced by grad party invites last year (1) and this year (15)). But I forgot about the one kid who invited me to his grad party last year. So when I saw him walk in, there was a moment of disbelief, and then joy.
He chatted about how much he loved college, and what his summer plans were, and told me how, thanks to my media studies class, he totally held his own talking regularly to a friend in film school.
It was exactly what I needed. Because sometimes, it just takes one student coming back to say hi and thank you to make the current struggles seem worth it.