Friday, December 14, 2007

librarian: sole giver of compliments

so yesterday my favorite kid comes in and he is looking a bit sullen ... then i show him the fab art deco clock i made for him out of a bloomingdales box (i am so crafty. i have also decorated my apartment using snowflakes made out of pages from the phonebook. this is the most useful function my phonebook has performed in years). anyway my favorite kid was very happy to see the clock. then he admitted to me that he had been afraid that i was going to be mad at him. so i explained that what happened the other day is in the past and it is all over and today is a new day and everything is fine.
we begin our time-telling lesson, and although it is slow-going, he is kind of getting it. having the fake clock helps. but every time he understands one concept, he loses comprehension of another concept. it's like, he can only understand pieces of time-telling, and he cannot grasp them all at once. so its very frustrating work.
have i mentioned that as a librarian i have never ever not even once in my life taken an education course. do you know why? because i am not an educator. i am a librarian and it is not my job to teach. i am supposed to guide people and find books for people and expose them to culture and stuff. so when i get very frustrated and lose my patience, it is not my fault because i am in no way qualified to be teaching people stuff. (except maybe teaching people to knit)
anyway, helping favorite kid with his homework is like pulling teeth. i have to give him prompts for everything and he can't concentrate and he has trouble retaining information. but finally, he just looked at this one problem and without me saying anything he blurted out the correct answer.
"that's right!" i say a little too loudly for the library. then he got all smiley and i said that whatever he did right then, whatever process he went through in his mind, that is the exact right process and he should do it every time.
"you know," he says, "you're the only person that compliments me."
"well," i say, slightly taken aback, "i think it's important to compliment people when they do something good."
"yeah," he says, "but no one else ever compliments me. you compliment me all the time."

so now i have created a situation in which i have become favorite kid's personal tutor. which is very difficult work AND it takes away from the time i am supposed to be spending helping other kids. but how can i not? it's like i need to save this kid. he is within my grasp and only i can save him. his family has let hime down, his teachers are too busy to give him the attention he needs. i am standing in a field of rye and everyone around me is falling through the cracks and he is the one that i have grabbed onto to save.

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