Fieldnote, 30 Jan. 2013

Meeting with the high school students, and awarding two Vonnegut books to this week’s winners, that is, the students who sent me writing or artwork. There were two winners, one student who finally sent me some of her workshopped poems. It seems the high school offers creative writing courses. This is exciting news, and so I asked for more samples from those students in the club who have taken the class. Two of the students in the club have taken the course, and these are some of the best pieces I received so far.

The other student sent me a number o artworks. I already foresee one of these as our cover art. I mentioned that she should send me some more. She did–she sent me four more pieces of writing, which I will have to get to soon. The early fears about the book coming through are diminishing for me, and I must say I’m proud of these students. I’m also getting to know them better, and I see these as future students, the next crop at the UK.

I had to leave early in order to make it to the library to tutor. I said my goodbyes to the club for the week. I should mention that this week at the club was posole day. The students came together to make this small party, each contributing their part to the meal, including ingredients and condiments, as well as utensils. It was great to see them coming together and breaking pan.

Pues: to the library. When I arrived I was one of the first tutors, and so I didn’t have much work to do. Eventually I worked with one boy to help him practice his math. A second grader. I then asked him to read a book with me, which he did. We read the book, and later his brother arrived. The book was about a girl and her dog getting into mischief. The boy read the book near to the end, but his little brother, a 4-year-old, wanted to know what it was about, as he asked in Spanish. His brother and I turned back the pages, and I allowed the older bro to summarize to little bro what happened–in Spanish. All three of us read the book together until the end, with the older brother and I taking turns in English, and the older bro translating into Spanish for his younger brother. Eventually, the mother of the two boys came to join us and watched her sons reading the book with me, as well as the translation activity. When we finished, she thanked me, asked me if I was Mexican, and told me that she wanted to do the same activity with her sons.

I helped one more student, Yvette, a twin, and a fourth grader. We worked on her math and writing. She was somewhat rowdy, but she remembered me from the music class. She asked when it would happen again, and I told her I hoped we could do a class together again sometime soon. 

I also helped John, one of the bilingual students who’s always impressed me. We practiced memorizing the states and locations, or geography I imagine, perhaps social studies. When I pointed out to him the Spanish names for states like Nevada, Colorado, Florida, and Montana, he was impressed. 

“Now I will always remember where these states are,” he said.

“Que bueno,” I said.

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