Saturday, November 14, 2009


I met a 9 year old girl at my friend's birthday party last night. She told me her name was Trinity and I said - wow! You know trinity is 3 and what's 3 times 3? Nine, she told me. That's your age- how cool. This is your year to shine, Trinity. Her face lit up and she clapped her hands together, forgetting the helium-filled balloon she was holding.

Her face dropped. It hit the ceiling and the ribbon was out of reach. I said Trinity, if you were a giraffe, you could just reach up and grab that down. Since you're not, how are you going to get it?

She asked me if I'm a teacher and I said no- but I'm a tutor. While she looked around for resources to make her taller, she told me her friend Haley has a tutor.

And it hit me. I'm good with kids. I love to see them learn and discover and explore and find excitement in the whole process. And that's why I'm incredibly upset. Not that I have this passion, but that my student- the one I've been tutoring for over 2 years now is even more at risk than when I started with her in kindergarden.

I volunteer for an organization that provides tutors for homeless kids. My student's dad is a drug addict. Her mom was living in a womens recovery shelter. Fresh out of jail for drug charges, she wanted to get her life on a better track. Throughout the past couple of years, I've seen my student's mom go from having nothing to working full time, taking college courses, and moving into her own apartment.

Along the way, my student has relaxed. She concentrates on her work and became the top student in her first grade class. Seeing these two thrive was incredible. But then. Then my student's mom stopped returning my calls for tutoring appointments and the ones she did show up for were cut short because she was late. And she lost oh, about 30 pounds in just over a month.

While I recognized these signs as looming disaster, I couldn't say a word about it. Part of my agreement with the tutoring organization is that I don't ask questions about the family's situation. We don't speak about it unless they bring it up. Now it's been 5 weeks since I've seen them. This girl means so much to me. Her future is in such a fragile place. I want to be there for her. To tell her a million times that she can do whatever she puts her mind to. That there is a world out there that is ready to reward her for her hard work and talents.

But I'm bound to shut the fuck up and see if her mom will take the time to meet with me.

I'm a rule-follower, but screw that. I can't sit back and watch failure when I know I can help.


Tee aka The Diva's Thoughts said...

You are in a very difficult position. I wish I knew the right thing to tell you.

I will tell you that you are a very compassionate person and that is a double edged sword my friend.

Bob Dobalina said...

Anything I can do to help, please let me know.

NWO said...

Keeping silent doesn't pass the smell test, or the gut test, or the "can I sleep well if I do nothing" test.

Anonymous said...

FUCK EVERYTHING and get that kid help.