***Dear Reader, our main character in this tale believed he could change the world. SPOILER ALERT. He Failed. Therefore, this story is about him, The Real GOOD Loser. His story begins with an email he wrote and sent to literary agents seeking representation for this book that he thought would change the future. You will find the content of that email below. He sent it on May 27th, 2021, a date chosen with purpose…for it was exactly five years after the fire.***
To My Future Editor,
I have set out on a mission to prove that entertainment transforms reality. And today I declare war. With you as the first adversary I must sley in pursuit of true victory.
Please allow me to present the back-cover summary for “Social Recovery 101—The Book That Could Spark A Regeneration.”
My name is Jose Julian and in January of the year 2020 I was hired on a one-year grant to teach a course titled EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE at Lakay Recovery High School in Worcester, Massachusetts (pronounced Wister). This book chronicles my experience teaching this class and invites the reader to listen in on the journey that brought me to this point in my life.
The course I teach was a creation of my own design and something I’d been working towards for a very long time. The school giving me this opportunity was first established in 2016 to help students struggling with substance abuse. As someone who has struggled myself, the opportunity to teach my class at this school could not have been more fitting.
With funding for my program set to expire at the end of second term in January 2021, the book follows my attempt to create something that will keep it funded. Facing challenge after challenge—some due to a global pandemic and others more personal—the students and I come to realize, and accept, that this world needs a whole lot more than a teacher to save it. The class turns into an experiment that asks: Can someone really change the world?
The events of this year I never could have predicted. Not only the events but the discussions and interactions with my students those events lead to; students who became more like family as the year progressed. The story of our time together is one sprinkled with conflict, humor, mystery, suspense, retribution, and even death—it might even be a love story.
The book is presented and designed in a way to make us think. It will entertain us while at the same time force us to question the role entertainment is having in our lives.
As consumers of entertainment we are all being fed a steady diet of remakes and entertainment with hidden agendas: Could this authentic story provide something unique? … An answer perhaps?
This book is a reminder to those that have forgotten the power of story. It is a dare to anyone that has lost faith in tomorrow. It is a cry for help, and a scream for change.
The challenge ahead is monumental, but the class objective is simple: To make us dream again— Of a future brighter than this reality we all seem stuck fighting within.
My story takes place during the Covid pandemic, but there was another pandemic going on at the same time that received less attention: Humanities fixation with being an enhanced or altered version of oneself—or someone not oneself entirely. I get that. I understand what it’s like to be different. I’m very different too.
I also understand what it’s like to want to be someone “not me”. Sometimes I’ll even watch television and imagine the faces I see as friends. Or often I’ll hear a song and think it was written just for me. Does this make me crazy or am I merely a product of this time in history? A person in desperate need to feel a sense of purpose living in an age when friends on a screen are more convenient than friends in real life.
Before you read my story, please know that while “recovery” is a piece of it, it is not the only element. This is not a story about me, or drugs, or about this class I taught. This is a story about US, and you are going to want to hear it.
As a first-time author, trying to get people’s attention in a world so loud has been difficult. For that reason, I am reaching out to as many agents as possible in an attempt to get my foot in the door. That is how I have come upon you…. whoever you are. Like you do not know me, I do not know much about you. But that is how new relationships work. Could this be a special new beginning for both of us?
I posted articles I had written for my students each week on a website. If you are interested in reading this story of mine, you can find it prepared for you on that same website: RecoveryHighSchool.com. I ask that all correspondence be directed to: Jose********(at)recoveryhighschool.com
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sincerely Yours—With Love, Jose Julian
“In the vacuum of time, all possessions are merely things, ideas and dreams are the only investments we need consider.”
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Read our story at: RecoveryHighSchool.com