Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sometimes I just shouldn't be let out of the house

I recently started volunteering with a youth mentoring program in the District of Columbia. It's a pretty intense commitment, requiring a 2 hour face-to-face meeting weekly with your student, as well as monthly "cultural" outings, to help expose them to art, theater, history, etc. The program is terrifically well organized, and I'm really excited to be doing it. I am passionate about education and sharing my own experiences, so I think it will be a really good fit for me. Last week was my introductory meeting, and while it went well overall, I did manage to remind myself that when they make a movie of my life, it is destined to be a comedy.

Scene. Heather and Student sitting at a round table in high school cafeteria. A student-painted mural adorns the wall, screaming in bright colors about the football team's big game and the upcoming homecoming dance. Heather and Student are diligently completing identical forms on blue paper. Both put down their pens, raise their heads and begin to talk to one another, comparing the answers on their respective sheets.

Student: The animal that best represents me is the panda. They are cute and cuddly, and I just really like them.

Heather: That's great, pandas are really awesome. I am like a moose, because I am from Canada, and there are lots of moose in Canada. Moose are also cute and gentle creatures...

Heather raises her head, looks off in the distance, and a voice-over begins.

Heather's Inner Voice: Ah shit. Moose aren't really gentle, and they can, like, attack people...I need to clarify my statement. I mean, what if some day down the line she tries to pet a moose, and gets harmed...I'm her mentor, it's gonna be my fault.

Heather: I mean, uh, unless the moose is angry, and then it can hurt you.

Student: (blank stare, silence)

Look of panic comes over Heather's face.

Heather's Inner Voice: Ah shit shit shit. Did I just tell her that I am like a moose, and that a moose might get angry and hurt her? How fucking creepy...who says that?!

Heather: ...I mean...uh...I'm not going to hurt you...

Student: (blank stare, silence)

Heather's Inner Voice: STOP TALKING!

Heather: (nervous laughter) So, moving on to the next question.

Student: Riiiight.

End Scene.

Seriously. This is my life.


lillianb said...

this is the best post of all time.
all time.

dancer said...

Your student will probably think it's cool that you know things about moose. As far as I know, there are none in DC:) It sounds like a great program, and many of these kids have never been to any kind of cultural program. Just don't tell him there's no Santa Claus! K

Jen said...

What Lillian said. Best. Post. Ever!


Jennifer said...

OMG I'm still laughing till crying after just finishing reading this post. I started reading it at work in a meeting (an important one) and just started shaking laughing. I had to close it and still 5 minutes later I was laughing because I could just see your ah shit face. ROFLMAO!

Elizabeth and Mark said...

Hilarious! I would have paid money to be a fly on the wall and see both your face and the student's face. Oh how I miss my H!

Melissa said...

Ok that was hilarious. I too was reading it at work when I suddenly began laughing so hard (and crying) my staff came into my office asking if I was ok. I couldn't even reply to them. I just kept laughing and crying for 2 more minutes. You crack me up and I wish we lived in the same city so I could always get these kinds of laughs. Thanks Ha Ha for your honesty even when it's at your own expense.