Sorry for being so quiet lately. To be perfectly honest, March has just not been my month. Nothing terrible has happened, I’ve just been feeling exhausted and worn down. Perhaps it’s a case of expectations being too high. We reached a huge milestone at work at the end of February so I was expecting to feel great in March and get all kinds of things done. While I was able to do that at work, when it came to stuff here at home it was almost as if I just didn’t even know where to start. Does anyone ever get like that? Usually a little time spent list making can solve that for me but this time around I think I just needed a break.
Any energy and creativity I have been able to muster up has been going to a new photography class I started in March and a tutoring program I started volunteering for in December. And let me tell you a little more about this tutoring. As a bit of background, I have always thought about potentially becoming a teacher and that volunteering as a tutor would be a great way to try it out before committing to going back to school. Unfortunately, my work schedule is generally unpredictable and not very flexible and the tutoring programs I have found are right after school. I was really excited last fall when I found an evening program and committed (and got it OK’d by my boss) to leave work at 5pm every Tuesday.
The way this particular program works is that they assign one student to each tutor so that you work with that student throughout the school year. Since I was coming in the middle of the year, I was assigned a fourth grade student whose previous tutor could no longer volunteer. I was told she was quiet and shy. The first day we met I struggled to make conversation with her as she would barely answer my questions and just put her head down on the table. She didn’t have any homework to work on so, not knowing what else to do, I figured we could read a book. We went down to the library to pick one out. She walked in the room, put her hands up to her mouth and, before I could find a bucket or garbage can, threw up all over the floor. Welcome to tutoring.
The next week her parents called and said they wouldn’t be able to make it to tutoring that week. The week after that they just didn’t show up. Because of things going on with her family, they decided they could not commit to bringing her every week and so she left the program.
The director of the program assigned me another student, a first grader who had asked to switch tutors. He was described as being very smart but not always able to sit still and focus. Seems reasonable for a 7-year-old. During our first week, he was very sweet but definitely difficult to manage. By our second week, an attitude had replaced the sweetness. Awesome. Not knowing what to do one time he was being mean to me, I told him I wasn’t speaking to him anymore until he decided to be nice. Really? That’s what I came up with? Luckily, it sort of worked.
One of my favorite interactions came the day he was eating peanuts and dropped one across the table towards me. He told me to eat it. I said no. He repeated himself. I still said no. He cocked his head to the side, gave me a look, and said “Woman, I said to eat it.” Oh wow. OK. Though my immediate reaction was to laugh, I collected myself, put on my serious face, and told him why he couldn’t speak to me that way. Our talk was apparently not very successful as it wasn’t the last time I was addressed as “Woman.”
In case the universe is concerned, I will be happy to acknowledge that I get the message. I am not supposed to be a teacher. At least not right now. And definitely not for first grade. I think the message could have been delivered more subtly, but that’s OK. I get it.