don't worry about it.


today, i showed up late to tutoring because the light rail was late. it took longer than usual, and i didn't know what the deal was. anyway, i showed up to the boys and girls club, and the director, jason, told me i'd be working with daniel. i apologized for being late. no worries, he said. these things happen. i sat down next to daniel, and daniel had no homework. i asked if he wanted to play a game. he said, connect four.

i've never actually played connect four. i remember it being available to us at st. ignatius, but on rainy days, it was the first game people would grab, so i trained myself to not want to play it. it looked like a boring game, anyway. i mean, you drop some chips in a little slot and try to get four in a row? what the hell's the point of that? it's just an oversized tic-tac-toe, a game that people without any imagination play. i beat daniel four times in a row.

around 6, jason told everyone to go into the next room for a surprise. i sat in the back and the sun shone on my face. jason asked everyone what today was, and most of the kids knew it was earth day. there was another volunteer coordinator, rebecca, who was there, and she told everyone that in addition to earth day, it was also volunteer appreciation week. that's why they had all those doughnuts and chips and salsa for us.

my next kid was addis, the one i couldn't actually help last time because he was doing a math exercise in slopes, and i hadn't done slopes in well over fifteen years. this time he had spanish homework, and i was equally helpless. he asked me if i knew spanish, and i had to admit i never studied it. the thing about addis is that he doesn't seem to mind that i don't know anything. i think that's why i like him. if i were a kid, and my tutor didn't know shit, i'd probably sigh or ask for another tutor or at least look disappointed, but addis doesn't give me any of that. he just says, don't worry about it, as if he already knows the futility of slopes and building a spanish vocabulary.

while he looked up words in the dictionary, i looked around the room. there was another girl helping a student with math, and another male tutor was helping gutu with some writing assignment on the computer. outside, the sun was shining, a rare sight for an april day in seattle. i had visions of leading everyone out the door and into the streets where we'd have an improvised parade, jumping and dancing, screaming at the top of our lungs. it's good to be alive, isn't it? so why are we doing our homework?

why do we busy ourselves with papers that have no consequence?

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