YourWords STL

The Returned

Guest Blog Post by (Former) Tutor Coordinator, Jennifer Rengachary


I didn’t make it out to Marygrove to tutor at all last month – longstanding schedule conflicts for me the first two weeks, and then spring break for all of us the last two weeks. I knew that I’d have to take the whole of March off back when we started in September. As the month approached, I knew I’d miss my students and fellow tutors, and I hoped they wouldn’t miss me too much… but I did hope they’d miss me at least a little!

Knowing in advance that I’d be gone for while, I thought twice about committing in the first place. It’s hard on everyone when a routine gets interrupted. But then I thought, maybe it’s not so bad to miss people and to be missed.

One of my (ahem, several) television obsessions currently is the French series Les Revenants (The Returned) about zombie/ghost/revenant beings who come back from the other side (or something – I’m not sure what’s really going on, and apparently neither are the characters, because the one French phrase I know, “je ne sais pas” sure seems to come up a lot). I can’t deal with the gore of Walking Dead (I wish I could – it looks awesome otherwise), but French zombies are apparently rather elegant.

Anyway, some of the ghosts are more like regular people than others. One of the characters suggests that the difference can be put down to whether or not the returned had anyone here waiting for them, wishing they’d come back. If no one cares about you and you don’t care about anyone else, your humanity starts to slip away. I guess that’s the case in real life too, caring enough that I’m to be away is probably a fair trade-off for being happy to be there when I can.

One other good thing about a break is getting to come back to a bunch of new work to read. This week we worked hard on editing the science fiction story drafts that the guys have been working on most of this semester… returning (did you see what I did there?) to what they’d already written, and bringing it together into a cohesive story. Also, grammar. Lots of grammar. If we can send a few more young people out into the world who understand the difference between “its” and “it’s” then I think that might be enough to justify our existence.

Next week we’ve got something a bit more exciting planned, but since I already kind of spoilered a great tv show for you, I won’t say any more. You’ll just have to… return… (I am so so SO sorry, but I just couldn’t not type that) next week to find out what it is.



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