Friday, July 15, 2016

Tutoring With Brian

So I decided to take up the offer to “see” how this baseball player on the field would handle tutoring a bunch of children at the recreational center.  I had asked Danika if she could call him for me.  I didn’t want just to call him; I tend to get nervous when talking, but especially to people I don’t know very well. It was nothing for Danika to pick up her cell phone and call him.  He was willing to meet me at the rec. center, as he called it. Well, that made me feel a little more at ease.  I mean, you know, I just met him, and I am still pretty shy.

My stomach was in knots by the time I got to the door of the rec. center at around 9 a.m.  He must have seen me through the glass windows because as soon as I reached for the door, he opened it.

Brian was rather good looking.  He was pretty tall too.  I had to look up to him to see his face.  Well, I have to look up to most people, being that I am only 5’ 2”.  But he is taller than normal. I would be guessing here, but maybe 6’3” to 6’4.”

“Hi Lily,  I am glad you decided to come and meet me today,” he said with a big smile.
I told him, “I do appreciate the fact you were willing to help me do some research for my book.”

The center was pretty loud with all kinds of kids, and all different ages. It opened up to a reception area where Brian explained parents would sign their children in and out each day on the counter; this is where I was able to sign in as a visitor and get my sticker. He asks if I would like a tour and I tell him sure.  We head over to the double doors that are now facing us, and as we step through them, you can see some of the children were playing basketball, other kids were sitting on the bleachers watching them.  A few of them were hanging out on the sidelines, well, that is what he called them. It’s a nice gym, air-conditioned and looked newly painted too.  Brain waves to a couple of the kids who yell out his name, as they wave back. We turn back around and head out through the double doors again and start walking to the back door.  This is where the outdoor games areas are, he explains some of the other younger children like to go out in the morning and usually play with some of the other rec center employees.  They can supervise and play different outdoor games; it occupies them for awhile.

Brian has some fans here, as well. Some more kids ask Brian to play a game, but he declines and tells them he has to go to the computer room to help some of the other children right now, and that he would be back in a little while.

We come back into the air-conditioned building, and he says we are going to go to the computer room, this is where some kids are already working on some assignments. So we walk down a long hallway and along the walls are pictures of some of the kids and a beautiful display of some art they must have worked on recently. He opens the door for me again.  He is a gentleman.  He thanks the girl for watching the class for a few minutes while he was giving me a tour of the facility.  She smiles and offers her hand to introduce herself.  She says no problem to Brian.

As soon as we are through the door, one of the boys has walked over to Brian asking for help with his paper.  He smiles back at the kid and introduces him to me.  The boy smiles and says hello.  Brian tells him how I am writing a book over summer break, and I am here to do some research for it.
“Cool,”  I laugh and smile as Brian asks the boy
“What are you working on?”
“Well, I am trying to write this book report I have.”

Brian explains that he works here three days a week as a volunteer.  He usually attempts to come an extra day if his baseball and school schedules allow it.  Sometimes it is difficult, as he explains with training and summer camp, it makes it hard.  I can tell he likes these kids, and they like him.

We spend the rest of the hour with the kids as Brian goes from computer to computer to help each child with their questions.  I admire him for the dedication. Once again Danika was right.  These players are much more than I had given them credit.  I thanked Brian for the “research help” and I tell the children I would love to come back again sometime.  And they said,
Brian tells me you’re welcome and wishes me luck.  He hopes to see me again sometime.  I say thanks, and that I appreciated his help so much.  This did help me a lot.

I have tutored at our school, in the library, before, but this was a new experience for me. Tutoring is much more than just a helping hand for some homework assignments for kids who needed extra help with their curriculum.  These kids have a bond with Brian, and you can see the feeling was mutual.

I think I like to do research...Do you?


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