As the seconds ticked by between switching on my computer and discovering the first e-mails of the day, I pondered the levels of soul-destroying, bowel-movement-inducing shait that awaited me today. And sure as taxes, there they were: a dozen or so student e-mails I divide into two groups: those who need; and those who need to check themselves before they get figuratively slapped…in a manner that respects constitutional rights of course…

The latter group of law students sends e-mails to lecturers that read a little somethin’ like this: my marks don’t reflect my hard work. Remark my assignment. If you choose not to adjust my mark, please explain.

My immediate emotional response to such an e-mail is to recall the lessons by my forensics professor about untraceable murders. But then the usual uncertainty sets in. Perhaps I was unfair? Perhaps I was tired when I marked that assignment? What if that student did work really hard and the mark demotivates him from diligence in the future?

Then there is the first group: the needers. Progressively more students need counselling every year. Some are just getting a taste of depression and anxiety and are unsure how to navigate their sudden descent into the mental health abyss. Some are so penetrated into darkness that the only escape seems to be a permanent release, and the e-mails you receive from these students are letters of despair and hopelessness and often feels like letters of goodbye.

Those are the worst.

What if what I say next hurts them more? What if I don’t find the right words? What if I don’t give what they need?

As I suffered through a jungle of e-mails, an unknown voice on some international radio station explained how some church in some country declared their president specifically called by God. I felt confused. Even more than usual. I try to live my life according to some faith and some honor, but this president’s moral compass does not point to my understanding of North. How can he be Called?

And then it started: but what if he is? What if my understanding of what is right and what is wrong is so fundamentally screwed that I can no longer recognise Good? What if I’m the bad guy?

I consider myself a confident person. Ya know…for the most part. But uncertainty creeps into my thoughts more often than what I’m comfortable with. And then everyone seems so confident! Confident in what they believe. Sure about what they feel and want and are capable of.

Sitting here, I know basically nothing. I am capable of shockingly little. And I feel…every emotion described by man since man has been able to describe stuff.

Time for chococino…or tea…or wine…I’m not sure…


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