A good day

Today I matched something like 8 or 9 students with tutors, after many long days of dribs and drabs amounting to an anemic (and frustrating) total of 4 kids over the past few weeks. Of course, a lot of today’s success is based off of all the hard work that went into those last few (superficially fruitless) weeks.

But still, it feels good, because the whole process is rather like playing (and seriously getting your butt kicked) at live, multi-player Tetris over a laggy satellite uplink. Just when I’d get one volunteer or student settled and reach for the magic spreadsheet highlighter to signify they were “matched,” the volunteer’s schedule would change or the teacher would suddenly remember that the kid isn’t available then.

I had two kids (and their respective, prospective tutors) caught up in a cycle of “you go first, no you go first” request-for-availability-information process. I had (and still do have) several tutors waiting for kids whose teachers are too feverishly busy doing things like shaping young minds to respond to my desperate pleas for availability information, and I have a few kids waiting for me to find suitable volunteers whose times, days, preferences, skills, language, blood type and planetary alignment match up (okay, so I’m fibbing about the last two…but just barely). I even managed to double-book one volunteer (only discovered when I was actually escorting her to her placement). Gahhhhh!!!!! Got that ironed out, though, with barely a ripple in the tutor/child time-space continuum. Booyah!

Anyway, I had most of this logjam break up on me today, which quickly led to me sending a whacking great load of tutoring goodness downstream to the processing plant of mind-molding love. So to speak.

A good day. A busy day, meaning I still have a few odds and ends to mop up tomorrow. But a good day.

Homework club was pretty spiffy, too. Had our first volunteer, two of the girls’ Mom, come in today for her first day of service. She helped Sarah upstairs with homework assistance and supervision while I stayed downstairs to round up and shovel food into the late drop offs (I remember being 12 – so do many bankrupt all-you-can-eat places where I grew up – and some things never change). The kids were reasonably well behaved today, with a few predictable exceptions. My partner and I brainstormed on a new behavioral incentive program, which we’re going to roll out after we get the fine print fine-tuned, that will hopefully provide extra motivation for good behavior (or at least against bad behavior). And no one got in a fight or left in a huff.

Wha? Huhhhnnn! Good day, y’all! What is it good for – absolutely ev’thing…say it again!

(PS: Just like clockwork, and as predicted in our training, the moment October rolled over we all got sick. Teachers, supervisors, me, colleagues, hubby, most of the people at his place of work…pretty much everyone but the kids. Go figure. The school’s like a Superfund site for viruses. Sheesh.)

(PPS: Anybody know a reliable, cheap place around Asheville to get a quick differential diagnosis (arthritis vs soft tissue injury vs tenonitis vs who knows what) of a low-grade chronic shoulder injury that’s suddenly going nowhere good awful fast? That also takes sketchy government-funded health insurance for grantees? *whimper*)

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