Way to bury the lede!
Plus, we had/have no plans to visit “the shelter” that I can recall.
Our last communication had been about Lola, the Albanian ESL student. (Lois Lane is the liasion between volunteer English tutors and their tutees.) I’d texted Lois Lane to tell her that I didn’t want to continue with Lola.
I like Lola well enough, but every time I corrected her English, she’d erupt into a five-minute burst of self-recrimination.
I would have been happy enough to let Lola chatter without correcting her English since I think chattering in English, making yourself understood without necessarily being grammatical, is actually one of the goals of ESL at this level. But Lola insisted upon being corrected. And I’d lost patience with the self-recriminatory bursts. I mean, Jeeze girlfriend—it’s unproductive. And I am not a therapist; I don’t want to work with you on your self-esteem issues.
See what a hard-hearted bitch I am?
Anyway, I thought Lola would do better with a tutor who was more sympathetic to these kinds of issues.
And that I would do better with a tutee who was working toward a specific goal.
Remember Nafisa? My big ESL success story? The Sudanese doctor who actually passed the USMLE under my tutelage? Seriously! She says she wouldn’t have passed had it not been for me-e-eeeee!
Nafisa and I are still in touch; in fact, I’m working with her on the essays she has to write to get admitted into a residency program.
Oh, Lois! I texted back. I’m so sorry. Do you need help with errands? Food shopping? Laundry? I’m happy to help you any way I can.
I might need a ride to the doctor early tomorrow, she texted back. I can take the bus, but it’s an enormous hassle.
No, you can’t take the bus, I thought grimmly. Expose dozens of innocent bystanders to the plague? I. Don’t. Think. So.
I THINK I have a ride lined up, she continued. But maybe not.
Well, you can count on me if other option falls through, I texted. I would ask that you wear gloves and an N95 mask and we'll keep the car windows open.
I would wear an N95 and gloves, too! And bathe in Purell before and after the trip! And quarantine for three days and then take a COVID test!
All of which would be a complete drag.
Thing is, though, I am very fond of Lois Lane even though she is such a flake, I have completely written her off as far as friendship goes. There is a certain deep kinship of spirit there.
Still, I was very relieved when 10am came and went this morning, and it no longer qualified as “early.” I don’t have to drive in a car with someone who’s been diagnosed with COVID. Whew! I dodged a bullet.