Me: “So today we are going to read this biography about Barack Obama.”
Kid: “Oh! That’s my Dad’s Christmas dinner guest!”
Kid: “So every year everyone in my family decides who we would invite to our Christmas dinner that year, if we could invite anyone in the world. My dad chose Barack Obama.”
Me: “Oh, I love that! And who did YOU choose?”
Kid: “Taylor Swift.”
Me: “Also a good one. And your Mom?”
Kid: “She chose ‘any black female voter from Alabama.'”
Kid: “Yeah I didn’t really get it.”
Me: “Did you do your homework?”
Kid: “No, I didn’t have time. With Christmas and all.”
Me: “Christmas is still 2 weeks away.”
Kid: “I know, but like. There’s a LOT that goes into Christmas, you know? There’s a lot of stuff that leads up to it. It’s not just like you’re busy on that ONE day.”
Me: “I guess…”
(15 minutes later)
Me: “So what IS your family doing for Christmas?”
Kid: “Oh, my family? Nothing. We’re Jewish.”
Kid and I are researching quotes for his paper about community action, and we come across a good quote by Nelson Mandela.
Me: “Ohhh, that’s a perfect one to use. Do you know who Nelson Mandela is?”
Kid: “Yeah of course.”
Me: “Oh, I’m impressed. I wouldn’t necessarily think a kid your age would know about him.”
Kid: “Well, my dad listens to his music all the time.”
Me: “Ummm…his music? Nelson Mandela was not a musician, as far as I know…”
Kid: “Yes, he’s a country singer!”
Me: “I think you’re thinking of someone else…”
Kid: “You know, (singing) ‘On the road again, Just can’t wait to get on the road again….'”
Me: “Oh, honey, no. That’s Willie Nelson. Not Nelson Mandela. They are two very VERY different people. Nelson Mandela ended apartheid in South Africa.”
Kid (pondering): “Ok but otherwise they’re pretty much the same.”
Me: “And what would you say is your greatest area of need?”
Me: “And your greatest strength?”
Kid: “Like, I guess…not vocabulary?”
I had a kid fill out a math assessment for homework. There was some new content in it, so I told her if she really didn’t know how to answer a question, just write “no idea” underneath, and I’d help her in the next session.
So in the next session, I taught her the strategy she needed to use to answer the “no idea” question. Once she had a firm grip on the strategy, I said, with optimistic enthusiasm, “Ok, so let’s go back to that question where you wrote ‘no idea’ and see if we can change that answer!”
So she changed it.
Because come on that’s fucking hilarious.
Kid: “Oh my gosh, your hair looks awesome! It’s so great how it’s SO short!”
Me: “Aw thanks!”
Kid: “Because, you know….your face is SO long.”
Kid: “Why are you called a tutor? Is it because you TOOT A LOT??!?!?”
(5 minutes of maniacal laughter at own joke)
Kid: “How old is your son?”
Me: “Huh? I don’t have a son.”
Kid: “Oh, then who is that kid on your phone’s lock screen?”
Me: “Ooooooh, that’s my nephew!”
Kid: “Oh. So you don’t have any kids?”
Kid: “But you just got married, right?”
Kid: “Then shouldn’t your lock screen be a picture of your husband?”
Me: “Is that a rule?”
Kid: “Well, I just think, like, it should be THE most important person to you. And that person should be your husband, if you don’t have kids. I’m just saying.”
Well aren’t we judgy at 9 years old.
I contacted a client to let her know she paid me the wrong amount.
Client: “Oh my god, I’m so sorry! Must be pregnancy brain.”
Me: “You’re pregnant? Congratulations! That’s so exciting!”
Client: “Oh, no no. Back when I was pregnant, I started using ‘pregnancy brain’ as a reason for doing dumb things, and I’ve just continued to use it because it’s the best excuse.”
She had one kid 9 years ago.
About to play a math game…
Kid: “Can we use the dice app on your phone again?”
Me: “No, we only did that last time because I forgot the dice. But now I have them, so we can roll them ourselves.”
Kid (sigh): “But it’s so much easier to just touch your phone screen.”
Me: “But it’s so much nicer and more interesting to be a human who does old-timey human things, like hold real dice in your hand, and then extend your arm ever so slightly to roll them on the real, live floor. Plus they make a sound and everything!”
Kid: ( . crosses arms. pouts.)
We’re so fucked.