Working on a summer newsletter writing project with a middle schooler….
Me: “So what do you think you want to write about for your editorial piece? What’s an issue you are passionate about?”
Student: “I was going to write about about making the food in the school cafeteria better, because it’s pretty gross.”
Me: “Oh, great idea!”
Student: “But then I changed my mind, but I don’t know if you’ll let me write about it.”
Student: “I really want to write about what happened in Virginia, and how sad it makes me feel, and how I think we should all spread love and not hate. And how I think racism is wrong. And I know this might be weird but can I add an obituary section? I want people to remember the girl who died, Heather. I think she was a good person and people should remember her.”
Started with a new client today.
Me: “So, kiddo, anything you think I should know before we begin?”
Kid: “My mom has a boyfriend who she kisses on the mouth.”
Needless to say she’s my new favorite.
“No, but I did poop right before you got here.”
— Kid, when I asked if he did his homework.
Kid goes to the bathroom during our session. He leaves the door open, so I can hear him peeing, and I can also hear him NOT wash his hands.
Kid (running out of the bathroom): “Ok done! Ready!”
Me: “No, no, no sir. Turn right back around and wash those hands.”
Kid: “But I did!”
Me: “I did not hear the sink running.”
Kid: “That’s because I used spit!”
A potential client called to inquire about writing lessons for her son
Potential Client: “I just want my kid to know how to write. In complete sentences. With punctuation and real words. Everything today is text-speak and emojis, I feel like he isn’t getting reinforcement for actual WRITING, and that’s still a skill that is extremely important, you know what I mean?”
I got the job.
I actually love a good crying, meltdown tantrum during a tutoring session because it provides me with really valuable practice for the kind of mother I plan to be.
A really mean, unfair, impatient one.
Me: “Isn’t it fun to learn new things?”
Me: “Ok. But doesn’t it at least feel good to learn new things?”
Me: “Ok, but it doesn’t NOT feel good, right?”
Kid (thinking): “No.”
Me: “Ah HAH!”
Kid: “I mean….Yes? Wait, what?”
This kid does NOT enjoy learning math with me…
Kid: “This is SO BORING!!!”
Me: “Well, I’m sorry you think so. But sometimes life is boring.”
Kid: (screaming in dramatic agony) “BUT THAT’S TERRIBLE AND I HATE IT AND IT’S NO FAIR!!!”
Me: “I agree. Life isn’t fair. But do you see ME screaming my head off and wailing about it? No, you do not.”
Because I do that at home, alone, into a pillow.
That moment 10 minutes into your FaceTime tutoring session with a 4th grader when you realize the backdrop he’s curiously staring at behind you is no less than 13 bottles of liquor, plus a spoon holding a wine opener hostage with a gun.