Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 102- Big Cat Rescue and Tutoring

Tom was giggling over kittens last year, and I still giggle thinking about it all.  I let him pick today's charity, and he was slightly off the wall once again.  Our donation today was made to Big Cat Rescue

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/

Their mission

Big Cat Rescue, founded in 1992, is an educational sanctuary devoted to rescuing and providing a permanent home for exotic (i.e. wild, not domestic) cats who have been abused, abandoned, bred to be pets, retired from performing acts, or saved from being slaughtered for fur coats, and to educating the public about these animals and the issues facing them in captivity and in the wild. The sanctuary houses the most diverse population of exotic cats in the world, with 14 of the 35 species of wild cat represented among more than 100 residents. Today the sanctuary is devoted to its vision of a world where animals are treated with respect, and its mission of providing the best possible home for the animals in our care.


Big cats need love too! :)

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I tutor once a week after school in homework help.  The number of kids and the amount of help they need really varies from week to week.  I usually stay on Thursdays, but the Tuesday guy had something come up, so we switched.  Since this is only the second day of the quarter, I wasn't sure if I'd actually have any kids stay for help. 

There was just one student today, and that was kind of nice.  During the day, I seem to always have a million students who need a million different things all at the same time.  It's not often that I can give a student my undivided attention in a one-on-one situation.  I've never had that with the student who stayed this afternoon.  In his regular hour, he is in a class with a lot of... let's call them "big personalities."  He's got a rather large personality himself and is constantly seeking attention and approval from his peers.  Spending time with him in a different setting was completely different.  He listened attentively, thought and worked hard, and allowed me to help.  These are all things that I have been hoping would happen at some point, and it was thrilling.

We got the student's work for me done first, and he surprised me with some great writing.  Instead of thriving on attention from his peers, it seemed as if he was fueled by my praise.  He pulled out his math homework, and I started to help him with that.  I was delighted to discover that I was actually able to help, and I had to stifle a laugh when he said to me, "How did you get so good at math?"  I explained to him that I had to work harder at math than at other things, and we got back to work.  I think he appreciated knowing that it wasn't easy for me either.

I don't entirely know how to describe what a positive experience this whole session was.  I'll try the best I can.  When I look in a mirror, I have a tendency to pick myself apart.  This is pretty common, right?  This afternoon was different.  I felt as if I saw myself reflected in a student's eyes instead, an inside mirror.  Instead of looking for what was wrong, I was proud of the right I was able to do in our time together.

Thank you, tutoring, you made my day.

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