Friday, May 04, 2007


i've been to two tutoring sessions so far. i can't remember if i've written about it before, but i'm volunteering at a school near my church. the church has decided to make a long-term commitment to support this school that is just a mile away from them. the demographic of the church is pretty much the opposite of the school.

mostly i've just sat there; secretly entertained by their clowning around and teenage posturing - i dont' want to encourage them to mess around. i kind of want them to be used to me before i start saying "do you need help with anything?" - sounds too much like my job. i've answered one or two questions - i barely remember algebra, ugh.

the class is largely black kids, a few hispanic, and one asian kid - mostly girls (the boys cut). they're 8th graders and are in danger of not graduating, which is why they have to be in this room after school.

sitting the the room with them i am made more aware of my own context of growing up upper middle class suburbs. hah - funny sidenote: the homework room leader, this really cool woman, told me how she had them divided into "tribes" for some kind of weekly activity. the kids can never agree on names and once the mexican kids told her they wanted to be named "the beaners." and so they were until someone else told her that was a racist slur. oops. i knew that one, but these kids operate in a world that is pretty different from my own. probably another reason i feel like i a mostly observing at first. i wonder if jokes i make or how i would have acted with kids in my old youth group would be funny in the same way to them ; waiting to see a point for connection. i am glad to be there. i keep finding myself in situations where people are different from me, like in the last post. it is interesting.

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