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Showing posts from June, 2010

The Wrath of the Almighty Johnny

I have the greatest tutoring client, "Johnny."  He's an eleven-year old boy, finishing up sixth grade.  He is very bright but lazy and hated writing, which is why his mom brought me in. The first day I met him, I told him that he wasn't going to hate writing tutoring.  He answered me "We'll see about that."  It was almost too easy.  I found out that he loves fantasy novels and once I told him that he could write in the same genre, he was hooked.

Now, this kid goes to a small expensive private school with very small classes.  Why his teacher can't give him the individual attention necessary to find out how to get him interested in writing, I have no idea.  It wasn't hard.

I finally got the kid to admit he likes writing fiction.  Big victory!  He started writing stories about talking animals and animals that fell in toxic puddles and got superpowers and all sorts of things.  When I broke it to him that he was going to write non-fiction, he groaned…

Being Light Skinded

Its been a while since I explained the name of the blog, so here's a "reprint" of one of the first posts:

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There are many many ways in which this neighborhood was a culture shock for me. I'm from the suburbs. I'm used to most people looking like me and talking like me. This neighborhood is a little different. Our school is about half black and half Latino, with a few Southeast Asian kids. (We used to have a large Vietnamese, Cambodian, Samoan, and Tongan population, but over the 6 1/2 years I've been there, they've mostly moved away). People sometimes turn to stare at me on the street - there's not a lot of reason for a white woman to be walking around in our neighborhood.

There have always been white teachers at our school. Conversation from my first year of teaching (first grade):

Student 1: There is every kind of kid in our class: Mexican, Black, Chinese. [the "Ch…