It can be uncomfortable to have our eyes "opened" to certain subjects in life. It can be even more unpleasant to have them opened for a second or third time. Today was a great day for that, a painfully wonderful day, an emotionally and spiritually challenging day. Today I listened to stories of pain and passion around me and I felt my own eyes hold back tears. Again. I've felt this sympathy before, stemming from similar pains and passions in the lives of my students and my colleagues. But every time I hear their stories, I feel like I'm more aware than before, and more defeated.