shehecheyanu_1A student confided to me today about his doubts. He said he knows he’s not alone and yet, look: he’s alone. He thanked me for treating him with respect. I mean, I figure it’s basic human decency, but apparently students don’t get enough of that. Hell, none of us do. I hate to see a good person struggle so much with life but man, I get it. I get it. What can I say? He’s not wrong. Everything is peer review, everything is rough draft.

Still: today a student confided to me. And I was there to be confided in. My job was just to make it to that very moment. There is a Hebrew prayer called the shehekiyanu that we recite on joyous occasions. We use it to give thanks to a nameless, faceless force for granting us life, sustaining us, and enabling us to reach this day. We don’t have to know why. I can tell him: in twenty years, he can pass along the favor.