As senior year begins, this student sees an eviction notice on his house and knows s/he will have to move out in a week. S/he cannot believe that this is happening to her during her last year of high school, when s/he needs to study hard and prepare for college. S/he realizes that s/he will probably have to find a part-time job to help her/his mother.
This student’s private life becomes a direct obstacle to life at school, demonstrating that students’ performance at school cannot be understood in isolation from their lives as a whole. Even the most passionate students can be confronted with circumstances beyond their control.
The last time they were evicted, the building manager knocked on their door and gave them five minutes to leave. They ended up living in hotels and then in the street, where the student was constantly afraid that they might be attacked. This student wonders if s/he should drop out of school and study for the GED, or get a full-time job. S/he plans to go look for nearby homeless shelters and hopes that Ms. Gruwell might be able to help in some way.
Despite the severity of what is happening, this student does not lose all hope. S/he does not use this sudden event as an excuse to put an end to her/his education, but, instead, thinks creatively about other ways to pursue it. Her/his trust in Ms. Gruwell shows that this teacher’s powers are not limited to school, but can directly influence the students’ well-being outside of class.