This student feels that her/his life is falling apart. S/he recently found a picture of her/his mother in a bathrobe with another man, and realized that her/his mother is cheating on her/his father, which makes her/him feel that the entire family is being torn apart. While s/he expected to be able to rely on Ms. Gruwell’s class as a second family, the students have recently learned that other teachers do not want Ms. Gruwell to continue teaching them, using the excuse of Ms. Gruwell’s lack of seniority. The student concludes that these teachers are merely hiding their jealousy, since Ms. Gruwell’s class has received a lot of media attention and has proved particularly innovative and successful. While this student is scared, s/he trusts that the class will remain strong and cannot be torn apart.
This student’s personal crisis highlights the importance that family stability plays in her/his life, and her/his need for adults to behave in responsible, honest ways with her/him. The student finds such qualities in Ms. Gruwell. Her/his description of the class as a family suggests that love and comfort do not necessarily need to come from within the nuclear family. Rather, any caring, devoted adult can become a role model to children who need it. The student’s trust in Ms. Gruwell and her/his classmate’s bond proves strong, signaling the deep friendship and solidarity that have formed among all of them over the past months.