Today I was approached by a geometry teacher that sends me a lot of tutoring business. I used to teach with her, so anytime a kid is having trouble and the parents ask who she’d recommend as a tutor, she recommends me. She also was my teacher when I took pre-calculus, so I’ve known this woman a long time.

She said, “Hey, come talk to me when you’re done tutoring today. I need to ask you a favor.” As I tried to figure out what that favor might be, she said, “It’s not bad. Just come talk to me.”

So I went to see her after I was finished, and she asked me to do something that makes me happy and very very sad at the same time. Starting tomorrow, I will be helping a student from New Orleans get caught up in Geometry. I met her, and she looks terrified. She probably is terrified. Fourteen years old, I’d guess, in a school where she knows no one, where teachers are all making a huge fuss, and she doesn’t know the status of her home.

Carolyn, my friend, said, “I don’t know what the situation is with money–” and I said, “Carolyn. This is free. I’ll help her for free.”

I cannot ask for money from someone who has lost so much. If anyone insists on paying me for this, and I hope they don’t, I will turn around and donate it to Katrina Relief somehow.

I am so very, very blessed. I’ve always known it. But seeing the fear in this girl’s eyes made my heart smash into a billion pieces today. I ache for her, and there’s not much I can do — except help her in math and be kind to her while I do it.

Hopefully, I will not cry, though I make no promises for when I get back to my car afterwards. I’ll make sure to have a box of tissue at the ready just in case.

5 thoughts on “Impact”

  1. do you know where I can take some clothes and shoes and things like hairdryers and stuff? I want to help too. . .

  2. Dang. That girl is SMART, too. We did five sections in 45 minutes today — stuff that took the regular classes almost 2 weeks to get through. 🙂

    I’m trying to figure out if I can finagle my schedule/babysitting, etc. so I can work with her tomorrow and Friday, too. And Monday. And then she’ll be almost caught up and her regular teacher can handle the rest of it.

    But DANG, she’s a smart cookie. Wow. It was a pleasure. 🙂

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