03/28/2004 - 04/04/2004
Well, I tutor n'more.
Last Tuesday (not yesterday) I did the first tutoring session with The B'y at the Oakhood library. Things went remarkably well. Lah-dee-daa.
Then came Thursdaygate. I wait for The B'y in the front lobby of the Oakwood Library. 4:50. 5:00. The batteries died right at the beginning of "Doctor's Advocate", so I stood there and read all of the people on the board of Oakwood business owners. 5:15. It is meant to show how multicultural the nighbourhood is, but in fact is an annal to the overall sketchiness of both the businesses and their owners. Unshaven faces bearing scowls with missing teeth above the words "Shinky's Computer Labs Outlet", "Ukbar Good Hair". Oh, I love you, Toronto. 5:30.
Anyways, the novelty wears off and The B'y is nowhere to be found. So I go and trudge around until I find a payphone on Roger's (and really see just how sketchy the noghbourhood is, in a new light). Call the Lady for Whom I Work. She says she's surprised The B'y neuh showed up, he was very enthusiastic this marning. I start trudging home, musicless.
One block from his house, I see The B'y out on the street walking away from his house. "Hey! Hi!" No response. "The B'y!"* "BYE!" He shouts at me with en-rage and stomps away. "Bye!" I yell back, maybe angrily?
I figure I'll go to The B'y's house and see if I can crack this mysteeerious case. I talk to The B'y's Father who explains to me that The B'y was at home when he got in, yadda yadda yadda, he took away The B'y's X-BOX 360, The B'y lost his themper and wrote a note saying he was ne'er returning home again.
"Ha, ha. What a guy." **
"Here, let me pay you for waiting around the library."
I got a call that night explaining that The B'y had gone to the Eaton's Centre (I presume to window shop for athletic footwear) and returned home safe'n'sound.
Well, flashforward to Yesterday (Tuesday) and I'm in beyed and I get a phone call. Yadda yadda yadda. You were great, it's because the B'y is in a situation where he no longer can work with you yadda yadda yadda.
It's not so bad. My sisther is real excited for me, she thought it was an AWFUL job I was doing and sees this as a fantastic opportunity to move fwd with some valuable new experience. I mean, yes at times, it was pretty exhausting and angrifying. There was some satisfaction I got at times though, like with any difficult thing you do. If you succeed it means something. There's a bit of bitterness because I believe Thursdaygate and similar incidents were precipitated by a poor decision made by The Lady for Whom I Worked. I won't get into that one, but it was a choice she made in an attempt to best serve the interest of her son, so it's understandable. I warned her it wouldn't work and hey "I told you so", but I know there's certainly no malice towards me, she keeps saying how much she appreciates what I did and she's probably going to be the best reference I can grab for most job applications.
The icing on the bittersweet cake is a letter I got from The B'y today in my mailbox which she obviously forced him to write, saying he's decided it's no longer time for me to tutor him but he remembers the good times. The letter is so vague and it's still not that nice. BUT I still appreciate what his mother was trying to teach him by insisting he write that letter.
Chicken Soup Renny Soul: Something much harder to teach than arithmetic.
* - Not his real name.
** - Not exactly what I said.
P.S. My dad's come in from B.C. It's good. We're eating lots of tasty food!
"In a horrific accident on the road from Port St. John's to Umthatha, 1 Canadian and 17 South Africans were killed when their unroadworthy taxi careened over the edge of a cliff. The vehicle fell to the valley floor and exploded. The driver, Thando Mbeki and all 17 passengers, including 21-year old Alex Meyers of Canada, died in the accident. The Meyers family, of Toronto, Canada, are suing the taxi company and the SPW, the organization that Alex was volunteering with in South Africa.
"When asked to comment the mother of one of the young South African volunteers shrugged and replied 'It's still better than dying of AIDS'. No argument there."
This didn't happen, but it was all I could think about on that journey. The whole day was pretty nightmarish. Eighteen of us squeezed into a taxi van certified for 15, no seatbelts, drivers who play chicken in the passing lanes, livestock wandering onto the road, blaring techno; this all adds up to a pretty shaky ride.
It seems that young South Africans only know 5 or six songs (all techno/house) and everyone has those songs on cassette, cd or on thier phones. Those songs seem to be played by someone in a constant loop. ALL. DAY. LONG. One of the songs sounds like a mechanical baby crying because it is being beaten by a set of bagpipes.
We had a workshop on drug abuse and the South Africans seemed either quite naive or unwilling to speak up. Only the internationals seemed to be able to speak about drugs. When I spoke up some of them gave me shadey looks. Maybe they think I will corrupt them
All the volunteers have cell phones and are checking or fiddling with them all the time it is quite annoying and distracting. Out of necessity I have finally gone and bought my first cell phone. It is a big hassle to get more airtime because so far the maximum that I've seen available at a time is 29 Rand which seem to be about 30-35 minutes of local calling.
MSN and hotmail don't seem to work from the local net cafe so I'll be making alexmeyers1@gmail my primary account. Email there. My cell phone number is 0795790283 if you decide to call or text me.
So as Social Director I have to advertising for upcoming parties. However, I suck at that. Luckily, I have a social committee (who are heralded with the sinister sounding acronym of "SOCOM") that can help me out here. Look at the difference between my draft and the final result (click on images to enlarge):
Anyway, cause Sam hasn't been pimping it here, this article is not only only funny but also has introduced me to my new favourite slur. Anothing thing that is cool is if you blank your address bar for goin' ape and paste this into it and hit enter:
And finally I pass this on without comment: