Wednesday Tutoring.

On Wednesdays after I finish my work-work, I head up to UBC to tutor. I always learn things from my kids, but my Wednesday guy is special.

He has a particular neurological condition that makes him twitch, sometimes violently. When I first started tutoring him, his parents sat me down and explained it all to me, and there was the underlying message that I must treat him like glass, because he was fragile. They cosset him a great deal.

So I was nervous for a while, because he twitches more when he’s excited than when he’s calm. I kept him as calm as possible, because I caught the parents’ feeling: twitching = not normal = wrong.

But then I began to realize, the kid doesn’t care that he twitches. That’s his parents’ hangup. And we began to get raucous. Now, we shout each other down, he runs around the room to illustrate a point, we laugh and chant the words of books as I read to him. He twitches, sure, but we don’t care.

His parents are astonished at how much he’s learning, although I see them worrying about the general volume of tutoring sessions. Maybe, in time, they’ll learn something as well. Their kid is a little different, and that’s okay. He is also bright, enthusiastic, inquisitive, and happy.

Maybe, like I have, they’ll learn that he is more than his twitch.

Techno Peasant Strikes Again!

So this morning our handyman came over to rewire our kitchen light, which was turning off intermittently. But in this house, nothing is ever simple. The landlord came down, and, in finding out which breaker turned that light off, we ended up trying to figure out the other breakers so we could label them all and be safe and sensible.

Did I say nothing is ever simple? Right. So, in flicking breakers, we ended up inconveniencing the people on the main floor, both of whom are home with bad colds. We thought we’d just see which breakers controlled stuff up there (there are two breaker boxes in the house), and learned things like, our kitchen light is also on the breaker that controls half of their bedroom lights. Only half, mind. And the top-of-the-stairs light in the laundry room is also on the bathroom breaker. So I ran back and forth from calling upstairs, “Anything go off?” to alerting my landlord, who was writing it down.

Naturally, I forgot to turn off E’s computer, and I don’t know how to get it all running again. Even worse, something happened with the TV remote, and I can’t get the TV to play anything but Star Trek on the Space Channel.

Basically, I shouldn’t be allowed to play with electricity.

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