La Tutora Sabe Más Que Tú

| Learning | May 27, 2013

(I tutor students for the SAT (Verbal), History, English, and Spanish.)

Parent: “Excuse me; are you my child’s tutor?”

My Boss: “No, your child will be working with [my name]. She currently has a student, so please wait downstairs with [child].”

Parent: “Hmph. I’m paying so I think my child deserves a fair share.”

(I finish with my student and I go downstairs to greet the parent and my student. All goes well until…)

Parent: “Wait, you’re the one who tutors Spanish? You’re a cracker; you can’t speak Spanish!”

Me: “With all due respect, I can, in fact, speak Spanish. I happen to be better at reading and writing, but I’m not terrible.”

Parent: “Ugh! You couldn’t speak Spanish if you wanted to learn from Dora!”

Me: “Mira, tu hijo/a ya está esperando. Ahora, [child’s name] va a perder más tiempo con mi. No tenemos tiempo para tonterías. He pasado un año en España, enseñando ingles a niños en un colegio. Mi vida diaria era más española. ¿Y ahora, me dices que no puedo aprender español? ¡Vaya tela!”

(Translation: Look, your child is waiting. Now, your child will lose more time with me. We don’t have time for foolishness. I lived for a year in Spain teaching English as a second language to children in school. My daily life was Spanish. And now, you’re telling me I can’t learn Spanish? I can’t take it anymore!)

Parent: “I… um… well, that’s not fair! She’s a cracker and knows another language!”

My Boss: *to the parent* “Just leave. You’ve done enough damage for the day. Thank you and goodbye.”

1 Thumbs
1,365

When Games End In A Bi

| Learning | May 4, 2013

(I’m tutoring a group of students that is often disruptive. The youngest one is 11, the eldest 16. I’m male and often wear makeup because I’ve never really seen myself as one gender or another.)

Student #1: “Um, can I ask you a question? It’s sort of personal.”

Me: “Sure, go ahead. We’ve known each other a few months now.”

Student #1: “Well, you see…um…”

(The student slides me a piece of paper with ‘gay?’ written on it.)

Me: *laughing a bit* “Oh, this is because of the makeup, isn’t it?”

(By now, the other students have caught on what’s happening.)

Student #1: “Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you!”

Me: “Look, you didn’t offend me. Being gay isn’t something to be ashamed of, and besides—”

Student #2: “So you ARE gay then? I knew it!”

Me: “Nope. I have a girlfriend.”

Student #1: “So you’re straight?”

Me: “Nope. I would date anyone if they were the right personality. It just happens to be a woman.”

Student #2: “So you’re not gay or straight? You’re sure?”

Me: “Pretty much. I guess you could say bisexual if you wanted to.”

Student #2: “Well that’s not fair.”

Me: “Wait, how so?”

Student #2: “If you’d been gay, she would have lost a bet to me.” *points at Student #1* “If you were gay, I would have won. This way, nobody wins except you, and that’s why it’s not fair. You should just give us both ten euros to make up for being a bad sport.”

(They asked me a few more questions relating to gender identity and such but were very polite about it. The whole experience was quite encouraging to me, as I was only beginning to be more public about who I am. Having several people at once be quite accepting and good-humoured about it was a great confidence boost.)

1 Thumbs
1,813

Obviously, They Prefer Fartissimo

, | Learning | March 12, 2013

(In music, “pianissimo” means “very quiet”. It is abbreviated as “PP” on sheet music and scores. Currently, I am teaching a student who always pounds the keys, no matter what dynamic level is indicated.)

Student: “Oh no! This has PP!”

Me: “Yep, it’s a quiet piece.”

Student: “I hate PP! It’s too hard to do. I can’t do PP!”

Me: “Sounds like a personal problem to me, buddy…”

1 Thumbs
657

Obviously, They Prefer Fartissimo

, | Right | December 8, 2011

(In music, “pianissimo” means “very quiet”. It is abbreviated as “PP” on sheet music and scores. Currently, I am teaching a student who always pounds the keys, no matter what dynamic level is indicated.)

Student: “Oh no! This has PP!”

Me: “Yep, it’s a quiet piece.”

Student: “I hate PP! It’s too hard to do. I can’t do PP!”

Me: “Sounds like a personal problem to me, buddy…”

1 Thumbs
1,375

It Works Better When Fed Cheese

, | Right | October 31, 2011

(Our college has students of all ages in attendance. Sometimes, the older ones need a little more guidance with using technology. Today, an older gentleman approaches my help desk brandishing several handwritten sheets of lined paper.)

Student: “My teacher says I need to type this.”

Me: “Okay! Well, I think the best program is Word. Just double-click on that blue “W” right there.”

(The student pokes the monitor’s screen with his index finger.)

Me: “Ah, well, actually, we don’t have touchscreens. You have to use the mouse. See?”

(I gesture to the mouse.)

Student: “Oh, okay.”

(He picks up mouse, places it on the monitor screen and clicks. The he looks at me expectantly.)

Me: “Er, well, you have to use it on the mouse pad.”

(I take the mouse and put it back on the mouse pad. Then I show him that when moving the mouse, the cursor on the screen moves.)

Student: “It’s not working very well. Maybe you guys didn’t feed it enough.”

1 Thumbs
1,781