Friday, September 10, 2010

No back to school, thank God

Last night I had my only "back-to-school"-type experience of the year,
and holy crizzap did it make me relieved that I don't actually have to
go back to school.

The tutoring program I volunteer at restarted after summer break, and
I got a new student since my last one graduated (sniff). It works
like this: the tutors sit on chairs pushed up against the wall of a
hallway, like we are waiting for a job interview or to get asked to
dance. The students who need tutors are in a room around the corner
with the coordinator. Every 5 minutes or so the coordinator comes out
with a student, calls out a tutor's name, and introduces them.

Last night I sat there for about half an hour until I got my student,
and by the end of this period it dawned on me that I was REALLY
nervous. Would we like each other? Would her parents like me? Would
I be able to help her? Would she have behavioral problems or a
learning disability? Would she get into college? Was there still
time to change my mind and leave?

And it occurred to me that this is only a tiny fraction of the
nervousness that I used to experience before a new school year.
Sometimes I have a hazy nostalgia for how the experience of going back
to school, how everything was new and it was like starting over, but
this was a helpful reminder that in fact many of those experiences
were SHEER TERROR and starting over SUCKED. Looking at the
back-to-school Ikea catalog is plenty of new excitement for me now,

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