A lot of my writing gets in the way of other writing. Some of this is the writing of exams, the writing of reports, the writing of lessons, the writing of emails.
Some email exchanges, like the one in which I was personally told by the Dean not to joke about growing cannabis in the greenhouse, are just annoying. Others, with students, are more difficult and tiring but ultimately meaningful. This weekend, an exchange continued back and forth to clarify an assignment, the stresses associated with it, and eventually it was clear that there was more involved than the assignment. She asked if I knew about counseling and how to get it. I helped with the assignment, a referral, and related that I know firsthand how things can stack up.
Today, I got an one more email to say thanks, that she liked the counselor on campus, and that she’s feeling better about the assignment. And then there was the part that stopped me short and made me realize that some emails are more important than others. She stated that she wanted me to “know that you really have saved somebody’s life.”
That was more important than my other writing.