AdVENTure ::Tutoring in Wadi Seer::

Yesterday I had a most interesting day.  What with almost getting in a bad accident, cell phone troubles and a full day of tutoring. I had agreed to tutor this kid in Wadi Seer at three thirty in the afternoon (a big mistake to begin tutoring a new student after having a super long day that started at 8:30). 

Let’s see. Background info. I was called a few days before by the kid’s mom. She was asking for me to tutor her second grade son Abdala. I was all okay fine about it until I heard where she lived. Then I was like, I don’t think you can afford me. Though I didn’t say that so bluntly.  But we did come around talking about prices and the minute she heard how much I charge an hour she hurriedly said she’d have to think it over and get back to me if she can work it out. I was like okay, expecting not to here from her again.

Come to find out the kid’s aunt who lives in
Holland is funding his tutoring and believes that he has potential since he’s doing great at school without help from anyone to begin with.  She called me a few days later from
Holland and discussed the matter with me.  Then we arranged it all and I was set to go tutor on Saturday afternoon.

Alright back to the present.  Saturday started out all nice and dandy with my first student being the awesome student he is. Then it got a little worse when my second student wasn’t in the mood to study, but study we did. Poor kid.

Then I had to run around and trade my messed up cell phone for a pretty decent used one (I can’t believe I actually bought a Nokia! I hate Nokia). And that’s when I almost got into and accident.  Though I must say that I was impressed with one of the six taxi drivers I had to deal with.  I needed to stop by an ATM to withdraw some cash before going to the cell place.  I told the driver to stop at a near by place and he did. But that ATM was under construction for some reason so I got back into the taxi and changed my second destination and he was like ‘why?’.  I told him the ATM wasn’t working. He thought the second destination was for another ATM (when it was actually my house) and said he knew of one on the way to my original destination (near the university). That was nice of him and he waited at every stop we made and everything and didn’t act all cranky and whatnot as the taxi drivers usually do.

After getting my cell, I had depleted my wallet so I had to run back home and get some more money and leave again right away to go to Wadi Seer. I was exhausted. I called the lady to get clearer directions and thank God I didn’t wait because minutes after talking to her I accidentally put on the security lock which I had no idea what the password was. That was nerve racking since I had no idea where I was going exactly and the cell felt like a lifeline or something.  But I didn’t need to talk to her because though the directions were clear there were a good handful of ‘white’ houses where she had said she was living. 

There were a couple of kids outside one of the white houses and so I went up to them and asked if one of them was Abdala. To my relief one of them was.

And now the horror begins.

I stepped into the house as a wave of terrible memories washed over me.  They were poor. Though not super-ly so but enough for me to feel so sorry for them.  And their house reminded me of my dad’s parents place in downtown. Rundown and shabby though clean.  I was led to the living room and sat there a few minutes alone. During that time I was almost hyperventilating. I wanted to leave and leave right then and there.I was planning on how to go about quitting.  Then after a few minutes Abdala came in with his second grade school books and sat down. I started talking to him in English expecting him to understand something of what I said. He understood nothing. His face was blank.

I quickly realized how little he knew and how much he was willing to learn. He was quiet and though I would expect he’s probably very troublesome he wasn’t with me. Maybe it’s because I’m knew but I’m hoping that’s not the case. If he stays the way he was on this first day I would more than be willing to go over there and teach him every Saturday despite how much I despise the place.

It’ll be the first time in over two years of tutoring to get a kid who knows almost nothing and whatever he does know is all wrong.  So it should be a challenge and something I am willing to take on to start from the very beginning (like how to write the ABCs).

It’s just sad that most of my ‘kids’ (as I like to call them) tend to from the upper class so they take their learning and my tutoring as a joke more than as something to help them better themselves. I instantly felt this kid to be the complete opposite. And because it wasn’t his parents’ money but his aunt’s he’d have to keep doing well and try hard to keep me as a tutor and to keep his family happy with him.

Even though he’s only seven I could tell that this burden of responsibility weighed on him. That was the main difference I had felt between the children who were wealthy and this kid.

I hope I’m right because if he’s spoiled just like the rich kids he’ll be quite a challenge.

Wish me luck!

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11 Responses to “AdVENTure ::Tutoring in Wadi Seer::”

  1. wow, youve had quite a day!

  2. wow.. that’s quite weird

  3. what exactly do you find weird moey? just the whole experiance in general or specific parts of it?

  4. I remember taking a bus to Wadi Seer to see the archeological site–Iraq al-Ameer. I saw a man plowing with a donkey, which made me think the area was poor. Also met a small girl, shy but brave enough to approach an ejnabeeyah alone, who wanted to sell me fossilized shells for a shillin each.

    When I taught in the Jordanian public schools a few years ago, the students in that program did not do well with English, but students in private schools did okay with English. If this boy is in public school, maybe he can not learn English without a tutor.

  5. now that’s what i call something to remember. i guess there’s a lesson to be learned in everything. i’m really glad that you’ve decided to give this kid a chance cause i know his type. he’s probably going to be something to be proud of when he grows up.
    and this post was nice to read!
    cheers!

  6. It sounds like an interesting challenge for you, and for him too, probably. Make sure you let us know how he gets on. I’m rooting for him all the way over here. 🙂

  7. yeah if he puts in the effort he can so ‘rise from the ghetto’ as they say…i will try and help him as much as possible before I leave here…my one thing to achieve before leaving! *fingers crossed*

  8. I feel sorry for that kid. Well, more accurately, I feel sorry that the rich kids don’t know how good they have it.

    Is English required in Jordan schools? (Please excuse my ignorance)

  9. English is taught in almost all (if not all) public and private schools in Jordan. However, the level of english taught depends on the status of your school. public schools have the weakest programs while the more expensive the private school is the higher the quality of English taught.

  10. […] Saturday I was invited to a get-together/party during the afternoon so I postponed my tutoring of Abdala the Wadi Seerian kid to Monday […]

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