Friday, August 7, 2009

We're all just taller children.


Meredith and I are in the process of moving to an apartment in Glen Ellyn. This is the first time I've ever had to sign a formal lease, complete with a realtor, credit checks, and proof of employment. That last bit is up to Meredith, since I'm on the job hunt.

My full time tutoring job in Oak Park is over. Now that I'm not spending 8 hours a day raising my voice to get the attention of ADD* kids, I've notice Frederick has moved out. (Frederick was the headache who moved into the back of my brain for about four weeks. It would be impolite not to name a pet who stays around for so long.) I can't say I miss Frederick.

I didn't realize how much it was all getting to me: asking the same question over and over without a response, searching the bathrooms and closets for hiding children, trying to hold off tantrums over everything from the sound "oi" makes to untied shoelaces. (There's no telling what will set off an OCD kid.)

For the moment, I'm a "coach" at a "grammar camp" at The Reading Tree. This means I teach a couple of kids to diagram sentences for two hours a day. I keep being amazed at simple things -- these kids answer questions when I ask. They make eye contact. They laugh at jokes. They make me feel sane. I want to give them hugs. But, since I've had training and experience with more severe kids, I'm valuable to the company. If they get a dyslexic or Autistic kid, I'm the one they'll call, and that will give me more clients.

I'm still looking for some kind of stable job, though, whether part or full time. But not this weekend. This weekend, I'm moving to a grown-up apartment with Meredith.



*I do not use the terms ADD or OCD lightly. These are kids who try so hard but can't pay attention, or who are so compulsive that they will wash their hands raw. The Oak Park kids were all either ADD, Autistic, dyslexic, or otherwise developmentally behind. I noticed several of them were adopted at the age of 4 or 5, meaning that, while other kids were learning their alphabet and basic problem solving skills, these kids were bouncing from one foster home or orphanage to another. That said, when one boy on the Autism spectrum throws a tantrum, the other spectrum kids get upset, and the ADD kids can't pay attention. Frederick didn't like it, either.

---

You're the same as you started
You just jump a little higher

4 comments:

Sarah said...

My sister and I moved into our apartment a few weeks ago. I definitely resonated with that xkcd strip too.

Also, you are a coach at grammar camp and you are diagramming sentences. Will you be my new best friend?

majorleague007 said...

Did you hear xkcd is being made into a book?

Becca said...

I just moved into my new apartment too... it felt kind of surreal until the bills showed up. haha!

lauren said...

I know what you mean about the yelling headache. I get that some days... especially when working with the 1st graders.