Fieldnote, 29 Oct. 2012

I made it to the library just on time, I left my house at twenty to the hour. Terrible traffic up Broadway before I turned west on Red Mile. From there, I made it to the library in five minutes. It took me 20 minutes to move less than a mile before that.

One tutor when I arrived, a college student from the college, and two students. I worked with one youth Helen for the duration of my tutoring time. At the end I began to help another student, but I had to leave after only 20 minutes.

Helen and I reviewed Latin and Greek roots in words. This was on her vocabulary sheet. Scope was one common word, and it lent itself to affixes scoping, microscope, and telescope. I had a hard time explaining it to the fourth grader, but she filled in all the blanks in the workspace below on her own. Helen is the first Anglo student I’ve helped at the library. I asked if her she wanted to learn Spanish, she said yes. I asked her if she heard any words in Spanish that she didn’t know. She said “when they answer the phone why do they say bueno?”

A fantastic question! She had working knowledge that bueno meant good, but that Mexicans used bueno when in English she uses “hello” when she answers a call. Of course she is right, and I have a hard time convincing her that it also means hello and good. It’s also an abbreviation of buenos noches, good night, but something with only “good”. I think I confused her more than I wanted. I said, “yeah, it also means hello and good, that’s the rule.”

We used a globe to label the U.S. states and wrote their capitals. A large project. After that, we did math problems where she practiced subtracting three-digit numbers. She read a story as well, and we answered sentence questions for comprehension.

After this, I helped one child reach some chips, which she said was for her homework. She indeed did have homework, so I let her select some chips from the large box of chips that sets atop the supply cabinet against the back wall.

Halloween decorations on the walls. Complimenting the original artworks by students, paintings. These fall ornaments are collages of materials with language and writing, some testaments of students to their favorite mentors.


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