I had her pegged so wrong.
She is young, beautiful, polite, a good student and writer, but with a lovely inner stubbornness. On the first day of class when I ask each student to introduce themselves she gave us her name and said that she is a proud Christian. (Not an unusual demographic at our college, with the local mega-church across the street.)
She struggled when asked to choose a topic for the rest of the term’s projects (a review of the literature on a controversial issue, and then an argument essay on that same issue). First, she investigated the issue of dating, and whether dating led to divorce.
This topic confused me at first, until an ex-fundamentalist Christian I know filled me in on the idea that some religious groups believe that young people should not date, but that their relationships should be arranged by their elders. The theory is that dating different people sets one up for a failed marriage in the future (because of the memories of those cool dates? that part I can’t quite figure out).
But the young woman student didn’t find any sources on that subject, interestingly, even after I tried to point her in the direction of arranged marriage (not where she wanted to go).
Now her topic is Are fathers necessary? And she has found many sources on the subject: those arguing that fathers are not necessary for raising (rearing?) children; those that argue that fathers are necessary economically and for socialization; and those that take the middle ground (a father figure is necessary, though not necessarily the biological father).
I, naturally, assumed she would argue that a father was necessary; however, since their first essay is an objective review of the research, I don’t know for sure where she stands.
Until 3am last night, when it occurred to me that she is probably pregnant (I’m noticing weight gain, and odd food choices during class). And that the biological father is probably not sticking around. And that this is a serious issue for her.
I have no intention at this point of asking her: I’ll just see what I see in her writing. But this young, stubborn girl fascinates me. She is such a good student, a good writer, yet she tells me she’s leaving college after this term (more evidence, I realized at 3am, for my 3am brainstorm). I can’t wait to see her essay.
Or should I talk to her?