Two things that aren't happy news. Well, one thing is definite but the other is uncertain.
1. One of my students was out last week. She was expecting and had to go in for "monitoring." She came back this morning and caught me before class. The baby she is carrying is anencephalic. I know exactly what that means because I know another couple who had that happen. She has chosen to carry the baby to term and give birth, but, as she said, "I now know what will happen shortly after." She kind of teared up.
I never know what to say in those instances. I said I was very sorry and that if there was anything I could do to help her through the rest of the class to let me know. (Oh, no. I just realized in a few days the fetal-development information - as part of the Human Reproductive System - is coming. Oh boy. I may try to gently warn her and tell her if she needs to leave for that part I will understand.)
2. One of the retired professors from the department is "missing." Or, rather, she didn't show up for a talk she had been scheduled to give and no one can get her on the phone. Another colleague drove out to her place and said he couldn't find her and there was mail in the mailbox. The one slightly hopeful sign was that her car was also gone, so we're wondering if maybe one of her grown kids had something come up and she had to leave on short notice...or that she took off on a trip. (She travels a lot, and while it's unlikely she would forget a talk she was scheduled for, if it was scheduled long enough in advance without a "reminder" notification, it could happen).
I really hope she's OK. She's not the kind of person who flakes out on things so I'm thinking the BEST outcome is that one of her kids had an emergency she had to help deal with.
Not a happy start to the week.