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Treat Me Like A Dog And I May Just Bite

, , , , | Learning | September 16, 2021

I work as a tutor for research methods in psychology. This is my fourth year, and I must say that I absolutely adore my job! If I didn’t have to get up so early for it — 8:00 am class, urgh — I would do it for free.

The class works like this: the students come over, we hand them worksheets, and they solve the problems. If they have questions, they can ask one of us.

Normally, the students are super nice, thankful for the help, and sweet, but a few weeks ago, I had my first entitled student encounter EVER!

I was sitting on my bench, scanning the class for raised hands, and this entitled first-year student snapped his fingers and whistled, and as I looked at him in disbelief, he waved at me in this “Italian mafioso” manner — outstretched arm, chin raised, not moving his hand, just making a “come here” motion with his fingers.

Really, he did almost all the disrespectful “calling someone” behaviours at once. I think there would only be shouting “garcon” left for him to be more of an idiot.

My boss was sitting right next to me and all she did was raise an eyebrow.

I went over to the student, ready to rumble.

Entitled Student: “Yeah, I don’t know how to solve this problem. Can’t find the approach.”

Me: “Okay, if you have a question, I am happy to help you. You can raise your hand or call my name, just like the other students do. What you cannot do to call me is snap your fingers, whistle, or gesture like a mafioso.”

Entitled Student: “What? Why?”

Me: “Because I am not a dog.”

Entitled Student: “Oh, come on. It’s not such a big deal.”

Me: “Actually, it is. It’s not appropriate. And now you’ve been told that it’s not appropriate, so I know for a fact that you’ve heard me. If you want help, call one of us in an appropriate manner or no one will react.”

With these words, I turned around and went back to the bench where my boss was still sitting. I told her what had happened and luckily, she approved.

The entitled student sat there for a while, stared at his paper, then packed his things and went home. 

I think that he learned his lesson as, the next week, he raised his hand when he had a question.

Word Problems Require Weird Solutions

, , , , , , | Learning | August 18, 2021

I am a private tutor. I have given my fourth-grade student the following question: “Buses need to be rented for twenty-seven children going on a field trip. Each bus can take twelve children in addition to the driver. How many buses must be rented?”

Student: “I say two buses.”

The answer is supposed to be three.

Me: “How did you get two?”

Student: “Because it’s too expensive otherwise.”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Student: “Otherwise, you’d get three buses, but the third bus is only going to have three kids in it. That’s a waste of a bus.”

I burst out laughing. My student is giggling as well now.

Student: Or, how about two buses, and we’ll strap some chairs at the top so the other three kids can sit up there.”

Me: *Recovering* “That doesn’t seem very safe!”

Student: “Right. So it’s only for the bad ones. The naughty kids have to sit on the top of the bus while the good kids can sit inside. It’s cheaper and better for everyone!”

We drew a model of her bus prototype after she completed all the word problems. I love this kid.

Some Things Can’t Be Tutored Away

, , , , , | Learning | August 2, 2021

I am studying to complete my honours degree. To make a little extra money on the side, I’ve started working for a company that tutors high school students. Due to the current health crisis, most of our sessions take place online and on a one-on-one basis.

One of my students didn’t show up for his lesson. I messaged him about it and he gave me an excuse that was along the line of, “I had a meeting with a prospective employer and forgot to tell you.” I was a bit inconvenienced but let it go. 

Cue next week when the exact same thing happened. At this stage, I was technically supposed to tell my boss, who would make sure that I was compensated for wasting my time — it’s about half what I would have gotten if we’d had a lesson, without actually having to do one. I, however, took a different route.

I drafted an email to my student’s mother. I respectfully explained the situation and told her to please ensure that her son comes to our future lessons. I also mentioned that I had not informed my boss, and they would not be penalized for the missed lessons. I was professional and respectful throughout. I even had both my parents read the email to make sure that it did not portray me as condescending or disrespectful.

About a day later, the student’s mother emailed me back. She went on and on about my disrespectful tone and how she could not believe that I had not informed her earlier. She also told me, “I also CC’d in [My Boss], so don’t bother trying to hide it.”

I just don’t understand her reasoning here. Someone emails you after your son missed two lessons — it happens because high schoolers are idiots — and explains that there won’t be any disadvantage to him because my boss never found out, and your response is to yell at them and inform their boss?

I got paid for both missed lessons and all my boss did was tell me to rather go through him in the future.

My Precious Princesa Would Never!

, , , , | Learning | CREDIT: Fat_manXXL | May 17, 2021

I’m nineteen and in college. Last year, I started a language education career. My first language is Spanish, and even though I often make mistakes, I can understand and speak English. Then, I realized I wasn’t in the right place, so I dropped out during the first semester. Now, I’m studying theatre at another school; that has always been my true passion.

During my first semester in language education, we had to do tutoring as a part of our grade. I was doing tutoring for English speakers that struggled in their Spanish lessons. One of my “tutees” was an eighteen-year-old girl who never showed up, not even once, and never gave me a heads-up or explained afterward why she didn’t. I just reported with my teacher that she hadn’t appeared and then reached out to her to reschedule the date of our meeting and called it a day.

Nothing of interest happened until a few days ago. I receive a call from a number I don’t recognize, and as the dumb boy I am, I answer.

Me: “Hello, who’s this?”

Caller: “Are you [My Name]?”

Me: “Yes, I am. What can I help you with?”

Caller: “It’s your fault that my daughter failed her exams.”

Me: “Excuse me? I don’t know what—”

Caller: “You tutored my daughter, and she didn’t learn anything from you! You sabotaged her and made her fail! I’ll report you to your teacher and make you fail, too.”

Me: “Sir, I dropped out last year.”

Caller: “That’s because of your incompetence! You have to pay me for wasting my time taking her to your classes!”

Me: “Sir, who’s your daughter?”


Me: “Listen. I need to know her name to give it to my ex-teacher, so he can tell you about my tutoring with her.”

Caller: “[Daughter].”

Me: “Sir, she didn’t show up once to—”


I guess he forgot I told him I dropped out.

Me: “Wait a moment.”

I check my cellphone for my teacher’s number and quickly give him a heads-up about what is happening.

Me: “It’s [number]. Anything e—”

He hung up on me.

A while later, my teacher told me about how rude the parent was with him. The parent said I was rude to him and that I lied, telling him his daughter never did tutoring with me, and he demanded that I fail this semester. The teacher explained that I dropped out and then sent him the empty reports of her tutoring, explaining to him that his daughter and I never met. After he sent the reports, the parent stayed silent for like twenty seconds and then hung up on him.

I guess I won’t be failing at the college I don’t attend anymore!

A Tale Of Tutor Turmoil

, , , , | Learning | October 11, 2020

My friends like to make fun of me for always reading every piece of information our college sends out to us, no matter how unimportant. This is a story that has spanned my four years at college and I’m hoping has finished already!

The college I go to assigns every student a faculty advisor; when there is any trouble, this advisor becomes the student’s advocate to the school. They are also there to advise students on more mundane rules and regulations surrounding the school. Your advisor — or tutor, as we call them — is assigned your first year of college and stays with you until you graduate. It’s suggested that when you first start, you get in touch with your tutor to either meet them or just send off an email. However, most students don’t. Of everyone I know, I seem to be the only person who ever made the effort to get to know my tutor. It seems the college wanted to have fun with me for this fact.

My first year of college, I get assigned my tutor, [Tutor #1]. I send off an email introducing myself and asking for a time to meet. My tutor responds immediately and suggests a time he is free and in his office, and I agree to meet him then.

However, the day before, I get a notification that my tutor has changed. I email [Tutor #1] and apologize. I then email [Tutor #2]. She invites me to her office hours, and this time I am able to meet her with no problem. She is a wonderful woman in the history department.

Tutor #2: “Just check in with me periodically to let me know how you’re doing!”

My second year comes, and roughly a week before classes start, I get an email: my tutor has gone on a research break, so I’ve been reassigned. No problem; at this point, I feel I’m a pro at emailing my tutors. I send an email off to [Tutor #3], introducing myself as a second-year just put under his charge, and asking to meet. He readily agrees and we make a date.

What happens two hours before we have plans to meet? I get an email from the college, changing my tutor again. I email [Tutor #3] to cancel our plans and send off an email to [Tutor #4]. She tells me she is busy for the next two weeks — the first two weeks of term — meeting with the first-year students she advises, but after that, she would love to meet. I put it out of my mind for the two weeks and then plan to email her.

What happens the day I go to email her? At this point, they have to be screwing with me. I get an email telling me that now [Tutor #5] is my tutor. I email [Tutor #4] to explain and get in touch with [Tutor #5], planning a meetup. This time, thankfully, everything goes well. We meet for coffee in one of our student coffee shops on campus and have a lovely chat about the difference between STEM degrees and arts degrees. [Tutor #5] remains my tutor for the next year.

I had really hoped the second year was the end of this funny business. But lo and behold, somehow, it isn’t. I start my final year of college in a week’s time, and I just received an email from [Tutor #5].

Tutor #5: “Hi, everyone. Sorry this email is coming out so close to the beginning of the semester, but I wanted to let you all know due to the health crisis, I’ve chosen to take this year off to do research. As such, you will all be reassigned to my colleague, [Tutor #6]. She is available to answer any problems that arise for you all. Regards, [Tutor #5].”

Seriously, I seem to be one of the only people who made the effort to meet my tutor, and somehow, someone decided to screw with me and make me have to meet and change tutors six times! At this point, I’m just hoping I make it through my final year with [Tutor #6] and can move on from this whole ordeal.