Tutoring the Tutor

July 21, 2016 — Leave a comment

Beauty of the human spirit. Teachers love teaching because students teach us.

Mitch Teemley


This is a true story.

I tutored at an inner city college for seven years. Many of my students were the first in their families to attend college. Some were the first to finish high school. Or not to sell drugs. A few have become my personal heroes.

My last student, a 19 year old pop culture drone, had just asked why she should “do punctuation.”

gamer_girl_by_ryuulavitz-d5hjpvn“Because punctuation is the only thing that separates us from the lower animals!” I replied, sarcasm phaser set on stun.

She shrugged and left.

My co-worker Trina, an African American grandma with a passion for cookies and Dostoyevsky, said, “Good point. My dog still can’t use a semi-colon.”

“If I get one more I’m-only-here-because-my-teacher-made-me knucklehead,” I curmudged, “I’m going to become a custodian.”

“This is community college, sweetie. You’re already in the recycling biz. Have a lemon cookie.” Before Trina could dispense the proffered…

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