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21 March 2006

A long week

It's been a long week and it's only Tuesday. Funny though, I'm trying to figure out if, deep down, I'm actually pleasantly surprised by having time slow down and keep pace with my slow and sorry ass. If only I could get it to slow down with pleasant turns-of-events to enjoy. A good cup of coffee. A good book. A moment to watch the sun set. But, alas, these are not in the cards for me - atleast not this month.

Why is it that tough weeks always bring heartfelt lessons? Atleast that seems to be the way it works for me. I got a C+ on an assignment that I thought wasn't quite so bad. I thought that I could get out of my lease, but I can't. I thought that once my car was paid off, I'd have a little more money in my account. I don't. However, I did learn one thing. A big thing. A noteworthy thing.

As I'm sure that most everyone knows I have a tutoring business. I work for a local school district as well as myself, and the experience has been more than I could have ever imagined - in all the right and good ways. Tonight I signed on a new student. He can't read or write and has an ok grasp of the alphabet. He's 42 years old and works with heavy equipment. He said that he doesn't struggle, he said he just doesn't know. He said he's tired of feeling stupid.

We had our first meeting today at the home of he and his wife. I walked in and noted beautiful hardwood floors, homemade furniture that was flawless. I walked in and noted a good vibe... no pretense... no negative influences... no stupidity. I marvelled at what he created with his hands. And then I marvelled at the story he would tell and the innate abilities teachers have in either fucking you up or helping you find a way. He talked about what had happened as a kid and why he quit school. He smoked half a pack of cigarettes in an hour and I could read a mixture of anxiousness and fear and.... relief. He trusted me with a secret that he held very close to him for a lifetime. A lifetime's a pretty long way to carry something frightening.

So next Tuesday we're starting on the alphabet. We're going to work on letter association with pictures - A is for apple - kind of thing. B is for banana. C can have two sounds, one soft, the other hard. We're going to help him learn to write his wife's name. His wife's name. Better yet, we're going to help him write her a letter. A love letter. A letter that says 'thanks for seeing past so much and seeing me' kind of letter. You know, one of the important kinds. It reminds me that perhaps it is time to write my own such letters to those who have seen past so much and saw me.

I got a note from one of my young kids tonight. They told me that they liked me and that I was their friend. They told me that they didn't hate to read "no more". What freedom! All I could think about were the freedoms that were waiting for these people - what great things they would discover and new worlds they soon would visit. What a great and lofty responsibility I have because I hold their trust - their trust in what they want to learn, their trust in helping them to set their fears aside and do it anyway, their trust in that we would get through tough days and tough lessons. I am their friend. I am honoured.

They call me Annie in their household, have called me that for years. When I got up to leave, his wife came and gave me a hug and held on for an extra minute. Yesterday I doubted my choosing of careers based on a really piss-poor standard: a mark on a paper. Today I had a woman and her husband hug me, shake my hand, look me in the eye and say "Annie, I just knew you were the one."

I don't always do the smartest thing or make the best choice, but what a moment when you put the rubber to the road and know that your heart is pointed in the same and right direction as your future.

And just so you know that I'm not completely all there, I wore cream coloured cords to work today. Tonight my mother pointed out that you could, in the proper light, read "crazy love" across the cheeks of my ass, under said pants.

It is never too late to be what you might have been.

George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans)


Smarts said...

Those were big tear drops that just hit my paper.

Lovely post.

Little Bird Woman said...

Hi. I've been reading your comments on Paige Archer's blog for quite a while. (Paige Archer lives near me and is a dear friend, so that's why I read her blog). I'm not sure what prompted me to look at your blog today but I am SO glad that I did.

I was a math teacher for about 6 weeks at a rough high school in High Point, NC.
I had been a math tutor for 5 years, but the horrid experience as a teacher had turned my stomach. Your entry gave me new hope. I WAS appreciated as a tutor. Thank you so much for reminding me of that.

I'm fairly new to the world of blogging - at least compared to Paige.

Thank you for your post and hang in there! You made my day.

Ms Dare2dv8 said...

I appreciate the comments - thank you! It's like anything, I suppose, you remember the rough days more so than the good days... but then we forget to make the correlation that the rough days eventually blossom into some pretty amazing things :)

CDA said...

That was without a doubt, one of the nicest, blog thingys - EVER.

Seriously. Tres Bien.

You rock.

Fenn said...

very inspiring i might add.

thank you.

Little Bird Woman said...

Thank you for commenting on my blog. I am hanging in there and I know that it WILL be alright in the end. I feel stronger now. I'm sure that I'll have more ups and downs, but again, it will be OK.

Thank you again.