Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Over the hill

I am a classroom teacher and individual tutor for a major test preparation company. I teach teenagers how to handle the SAT. You should see the reactions I get from people when I tell them what I do. I can now empathize with my dad, who is a dentist.

"You do WHAT?" or

"Uh, that's nice..." (turns and walks away,) or

"Eeeeewwww." or


Sometimes it's just a frightened pucker, like someone didn't want to eat a lemon, but forced it down, because they thought their future and career depended on it and because their parents paid a lot of money for it. It's amusing.

The other day I was assigned a tutoring student whose previous tutor was too low-key for him. The student has attention issues (diagnosed.) I have been assigned to sing and dance. No, really, I got on the phone with his mom to reassure her that I have plenty of experience with such things. After she quizzed me on my math abilities, we bonded over high-maintenance children. She apparently was satisfied with my qualifications once she knew I was a nurturing type as well. What I didn't expect was her relieved outburst:

"I'm so glad that you're an older woman!"

I was speechless for a moment. Deep breath. She's never met me, I reminded myself. I just laughed it off and told her that I was glad I could help out her family.

I wonder if she'll remember what she said when I walk in the door, all 32 years of my old self.


JennyB said...

What will she do when she meets you and realizes that, no, you are not an older woman? 32 is my holding position age. I plan to be 32 for the next few years because it's a respectable young.

ctarbet said...

Yes, you are indeed extremely old... maybe the other tutors have been 20-25, with no life/child experience, so in that respect, you are older [than the others]. Good luck with your advanced age, we both have one foot in the grave... :)