Fieldnote, 17 Sep. 2012

Back to the library, and I helped out five children in two hours this time. Again, mostly all elementary school, save for the last–Fatima. She is in sixth grade. Usually these students work with volunteer teachers who tutor at the center. These teachers are in a different section of the library, which I haven’t visited yet. I have seen them through doors that separate them from the rest of the volunteers. I see now that the older youths are kept separate from the younger learners. This might be because of the distractions from the different groups. Also it might be because the teachers only work with older students. By this I mean that the younger learners need not specialized instruction–at least to the logic of the library. I could see how this could be problematic: young learners may in fact need more interaction. At the very least, then, the young learners could have assistance from “less qualified” tutors. In which case, classified as such, I would also think it might be beneficial to have parents involved with the younger ones.

Fatima asked me about where I was from. I told her Arizona. She had images on her folder. “That’s my nephew.”

“He lives here?”

“No, Michoacan.”

“You’re from there?”

“No, I’m from here. Not Lexington, but Kentucky.”

We chatted a bit in Spanish, but not much. I used Spanish sparingly with these youths, though one girl asked me if I spoke it with my parents. “I do,” she said.

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