Thursday, September 24, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
When I told Ron I would become a writing tutor, he said that was impossible, since I'm not English. (I have so rubbed off on this guy.) Together, students and I hammer home thesis statements and smooth paragraph transitions. We identify possessives and the need for those pesky apostrophes that go with them. We ensure proper tense and article usage, fix sentence fragments and run-ons; you get the picture. It's satisfying to see the lights come on when they recognize the errors themselves and craft fine sentences right before my eyes.
There is, however, a dark side to the tutoring trade, a sordid element, a seedy underbelly. On Thursday afternoon, a girl approached the desk while I was working with another student. She waved a paper in front of me, interrupting our session. I recognized the form. Some lower level English course instructors require that students review each assignment with a tutor. The tutor checks off each element reviewed, then initials the sheet.
"Sign this please," she said.
"If you'll just wait a few more minutes, we're almost finished here and I'll be able to work with you," I said. "You can put your name there, on the sign in list." I pointed.
"I don't want to wait. Just sign," she said, fanning the page. I felt the breeze.
"Nope," I said. "Can't do it." She huffed away, indignant. I looked at the girl beside me, a more honorable student, who shrugged and smiled. I returned both gestures, then sat back in my chair, the proud, tutor-warrior. That's right. It's me and Steve McGarrett, a.k.a. Jack Lord, thwarting the evil doers that would snag the moral fiber of Hawaii. Book 'em, Danno! (Feel free to play the Hawaii Five-O theme song in your own head as you continue to read this blog. Oh, and picture those hunky canoe paddlers too, if you like.)
We attended an intimate shindig tonight to celebrate a friend's husband's birthday. Burgers, dogs, some killer blueberry cheesecake, enough alcohol to supply the seventh fleet on leave and excellent company all made for a pleasant evening. The party was held at a cabin at Kilauea Military Camp. The happy couple rents one every year for the occasion. It was a swell dwelling with three bedrooms, a fireplace, full kitchen and some comfy couches. Nice digs. Nicer than my house. A room at Motel 6 is nicer than my house. Not to knock Motel 6. I wonder... do they still have Magic Fingers? You put a quarter into a slot in a gray box mounted on the nightstand and the bed begins to vibrate at about a 4.2 on the richter scale. Anybody remember those?
It's not raining tonight and the sky is clear. You can see the southern cross and the north star from my backyard.
A hui hou. Aloha!