Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Sorry, Miss Brady!

I keep trying to organize my posts around themes. My junior year of high school, my teacher, Miss Brady, drilled in the fundamentals of good writing. I keep trying to write these well-planned posts with controlling ideas and supporting details. I wonder if that's part of being a former English major, or part of who I am? What came first, the OCD-ish tendencies in my writing or the BA?

Anyway.

I have a tutor - we'll call him Phineas. He tutors at a table set up on the landing in the stairwell at the far end of the building. I never thought I would take to avoiding a stairwell because of one person's body odor, but I have. You can smell him from either floor. I try to keep conversations with him short, and stand upwind. I don't know how his student does it. She must really want to pass her citizenship test!

Went to Wal-mart the other day and tried to buy pajamas for Adia. But all of them had these little appliques on the chest; they were stiff and scratchy on the inside. For real, people! These are kids' pajamas! Soft, not stiff, and definitely not scratchy!

I also had an interesting conversation with a student a couple weeks ago. Somehow the topic of living arrangements came up, and I mentioned that we hope to buy a house in a few years. He was surprised, and made a comment along the lines of, "I don't know what it is, maybe I work hard or something, but you were born in this country and don't have a house, but I have a house."

He's really very nice, but I didn't especially appreciate the implication that I don't work hard (the fact that I am a total slacker notwithstanding). I wanted to point out that they don't issue the deed to a house along with a birth certificate, but I refrained. I've had other students react this way as well. It's a little funny - I thought I left the "the streets are paved with gold" idealistic picture of America behind when I left Thailand. I could understand it there. But a lot of my students seem to think that being a citizen here erases all obstacles. I wish, for their sakes, that learning English and becoming a citizen would be the key to wealth and happiness and all of your dreams coming true. It's not. Sorry about that.

So. Kids are doing great. Trea is starting to understand so many new concepts - the other day she told me she couldn't eat one more bite, because she'd already eaten one bite and if she ate one more that would be two bites. Basic addition! She's a genius. She has a very vivid imagination. It takes some serious work to keep up with where her mind goes.

Adia now says more, down, no, and bird. Ok, she says more than that, but those are the ones I can understand.

Sorry about the disjointedness, Miss Brady. It can't all be perfect.

4 comments:

Drew said...

No worries; I never liked Miss. Brady anyway (or Mrs. Leach for that matter). Or really 11th grade.

Kate said...

I'll up the ante on Phineas. I've seen his pants fall down. This is a guy whose underwear you do not want to see.

sleep deprived said...

Ugh, Kate, I really didn't need that!

Kate said...

Hey, Sleep-

I've tagged you for a me-me. Come over to my place and get your instructions.