David the Writer
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored," sailing silly seas since 2005! If you're a newcomer, welcome! Have a seat, choose a Goddess, or several, or none! We aren't picky about anything. Except our upholstery ... so when you take your seat, sit upon it gently.
Life is very odd. Four years ago I took my daughters to spend the day at the beach with a friend. Now I am employed by that friend's mother in a job I like. I get dressed and drive to work every day, just because I happened to take my kids to the beach one sunny August afternoon.
The job I have is language arts tutor at a magnet school just outside Camden, New Jersey.
This past week began a new cycle of tutoring. Now I'm working with sophomores. I know more of them than any other class, since I held two long-term substitute positions among them last year.
I hadn't met David the Writer before this week.
He came to his first scheduled tutoring session early and was courteous and attentive. When it appeared the other scheduled students would be no-shows, I started my lesson. And he stopped me.
He said, "I write stories, but I'm embarrassed because my spelling and stuff is so bad."
For the next 40 minutes, David peppered me with questions about story-writing. What do you do when you can't think of an ending? What happens if you start out with one idea, and another one takes over? How can you fix something once you've written it down? (He writes the old-fashioned way, with a pencil.)
David said he had a 24-page story at home, but he couldn't find it. He was going to keep looking, so he could show it to me. He did show me one he wrote for English class, although he wasn't happy with it because he said he rushed it.
This young man has something to say, and rather than help him find the courage, tenacity, and technical ability to say it, I'm going to have to bore him to death preparing him for a standardized test.
The only hope I have is that, now that he's found someone he can talk to about writing, David will keep talking to me, and maybe show me some things. His life has not been dull. No one who lives in Camden has a dull life.
I would like to go above and beyond with this student. I want him to have his say and feel good about it.